What is the circular economy?
The linear way our economies use resources and dispose of them is increasingly putting pressure on our natural systems, communities, and public health. Transitioning to a clean economy starts with finding smart new approaches and technologies that create economic opportunities out of the materials we might otherwise throw away.
The circular economy is a different way of doing business that retains and recovers as much value as possible from resources by reusing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, repurposing or recycling products and materials—eliminating waste and greenhouse gas emissions at the design stage. Businesses can use circular approaches to save money or open up new market opportunities, from turning pulp-and-paper-mill waste into renewable bioproducts, to launching product buy-back programs that enhance customer interaction and recover usable materials. In turn, consumers can use circular economy principals to reduce their waste by reusing or repairing products, and by using sharing services to access environmentally friendly products and services. This movement has been gaining global momentum in recent years.
Simply put, by participating in the circular economy, communities, businesses, and people—of all ages and from all walks of life—are rethinking the potential value of materials and products before they become waste. The circular economy is finding ways to move toward greener, more sustainable options that support a cleaner, more competitive and resilient economy.
The long-term goal of the circular economy is to design out the concept of waste.
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