Presently, we as a society are based on a Linear Economy, considering that the demand for products is constant and so is their manufacture. This model assumes that natural and energy resources are infinite.
The LINEAR ECONOMY model can be represented like this: Extract resources → Manufacture → Consume → Waste (end of life)
The concept of Circular Economy, on the other hand, recognizes that natural resources are not infinite and that a new model of manufacture/consumption is needed. Fortunately, more and more companies are recognizing this and are taking steps to incorporate this model into their industry.
The CIRCULAR ECONOMY model, as follows: Manufacture (with Recycled Material) → Consumption → End of Life → Repair, Re-use, Recycle → Re-starting the Cycle
Therefore, it is very important to implement the repair, reuse and recycle stage in current consumption models. Repairing is a rational practice, but one that is increasingly in disuse. Re-use is something that to a certain extent would be implemented in the market, such as returnable packaging. Recycling is perhaps the most important step and the one that is least applied at present; this is the point on which greater emphasis should be placed.
Not necessarily if I recycle bottles I have to make them again. It is possible that this recycled material may become, for example, fence posts, urban furniture for parks, plastic pallets for industry, or so many other products.
But it is important to maintain a closed-loop production system where companies reincorporate recycled material into the production stage.
It is also important that this waste is transformed into resources to benefit society and the environment:
- Creating jobs → Social Benefit
- Creating Business → Economic Benefit
- Caring for the Environment → Environmental Benefit