Circular economy: the circle of value
By Maria Angella Fortich Fraija
The circular economy is a model of sustainable consumption and production over time, with it we promote the maximum reduction in the consumption of raw materials, we make a profit from the resources we already have and we take advantage of waste to recycle or transform it to give it a new life to the products.
Its main objective is based on extending the life cycle of the products as long as possible. It starts from the idea that everything has value and everything is used, thus a balance can be achieved between sustainability and the modernization of society's consumption.
The principles of the circular economy
The principles of the circular economy are based on the union of environmental, economic and social aspects. They were created in relation to the fatigue and waste of the linear economic system, the steps of this are the extraction, manufacture, utility and elimination of products. At the moment, when the effect of environmental damage and the excessive use of natural resources is seen, a circular economic model is generated that takes into account the efficiency of the use of resources.
One of the purposes of the circular economy is to be sustainable with society, therefore, it is an economy that generates employment and contributes to the security of supplies. Its law is what does not serve you, it can be of great use to the other, therefore, one of the sources should be the design of the products to be reconstructed over time, since it becomes matter. raw and would be regenerated for another utility.
The three pillars are: eliminating waste from the moment the product or service is being designed, keeping the products with their materials in use, and regenerating natural systems .
How do the pillars of the circular economy work?
The economy of functionality is based on putting the use of the things we already have and giving them a new use, instead of buying a new object. This is connected with the concept of second use and reuse, you are going more towards the reintroduction to the economic circuit of those products that no longer correspond to the initial needs.
Industrial and territorial ecology with eco-conception are linked considering organizations as organized management and material flows that impact the environment throughout the life cycle of the production of goods and services.
The pillars of repair, recycling and recovery go hand in hand by finding or taking advantage of all kinds of waste (recycled or not) to give it a second life or that does not influence the sustainable cycle that environmental mechanical productions should have.
We must change our linear economy to a circular one
“A circular economy seeks to rebuild financial, manufactured, human, social or natural capital. This ensures improved flows of goods and services”- ellenmacarthurfoundation.org
The reasons for changing the economy are towards the increased demand for raw materials and the scarcity of natural resources for the current excessive mass production. Several raw materials are finite and as the world's population grows, demand increases accordingly.
The climatic impact is another factor and it is the most important. The extraction and use of these materials have crucial consequences on the environment, this whole process increases CO₂ emissions, while if we use sustainable energy to make more reasonable use of raw materials, greenhouse emissions could be reduced. .
The benefits that this economy would bring to planet Earth come from the measure of waste prevention, the reuse of resources that would save money to large and small businesses in the world, while reducing the total annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Currently, the production of the materials we use as raw materials are responsible for 45% of CO₂ emissions globally.
Economic growth stimulates competitiveness and innovation , it is stimulated that the GDP would grow by 0.5% and more than 700,000 jobs would be created in the European Union by 2030. Also, consumers can be provided with better products quality that provide monetary savings and economic sustainability to society.
The circle of value or the circular economy helps us end the excessive sense of acquiring objects just to keep them and spend money on things we don't need. This economic model helps the planet to heal from so much extraction of raw materials and unnecessary damage that is done only to consume at high levels, ignoring the behind the scenes of production and products.
The circular economy must be a system that we adapt sustainably in the near future in order to heal the planet and be part of a new generation that cares for the Earth. Our future is in our hands.
Did you know that you can adopt a tree and transform the lives of indigenous communities?
Click here and find out how