For several decades, scientists have discussed the issue of the Earth’s changing climate. Although different models have shown varying effects of this change, all agree that the change happens. We also know that these changes accelerated due to pollution that began in the Industrial Revolution.

In recent years, people have suggested many solutions for this problem. One prominent suggestion involves recycling. 

When most people hear the word recycling, they think of throwing their plastic bottles in a separate bin from the trash can. However, recycling also drives the idea of “the circular economy.”

The circular economy is a way to make the entire economy more sustainable. In doing so, it helps protect the environment and make quality products. To find out how this works, read our guide below!

The Circular Economy vs. the Linear Economy

Currently, the US and much of the First World operate on a linear economy. In short, this means that manufacturers design products for a particular use. 

From there, consumers buy the product until it wears out. Then, they throw the product away, and it eventually arrives in a landfill.

This model is a critical contributor to the overflowing landfills in the US today. In contrast, the circular economy model takes a different path. 

Instead of products following a clear line, this model suggests that products go back to manufacturers at the end of their use. From there, manufacturers can use their parts and components to make new products instead of wasting them.

Principles of a Circular Economy

The circular economy runs on three principles:

  1. Eliminate waste and pollution
  2. Circulate products and materials
  3. Regenerate nature

These principles establish a framework that weaves together several methods and practices, including industrial symbiosis and collaborative consumption. 

This model is a drastically different approach to business than the linear version. As such, it forces companies to reevaluate everything about their processes. 

It also causes the customer’s role to change. In a circular economy, customers no longer consume products in the same way. Instead, they utilize something for a particular function.

Once the product can no longer use this function, it goes “back to the drawing board.” To establish this practice, companies must develop longer-term relationships with customers. They can no longer be a “one-stop-shop.”

Current Circular Economy Examples 

There are companies and developers around the world aspiring for a circular model. In Europe, Groupe Renault is a leading example.

Their circular activities aim to extend the lifespan of vehicles and their components. They also hope to keep materials in use rather than relying on new parts. 

Another example is AMC Natural Drinks, a company specializing in the development of fruit and veggie drinks. They utilize circular practices to ensure their development practices remain sustainable. 

Learn How to Implement a Circular Economy

The circular economy model can have tremendous benefits for society and the environment. To live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, learn how to implement circular practices today!

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