What Is A Circular Economy?

What Is A Circular Economy?
You may have heard a new phrase being thrown around in the world of waste and sustainability. ‘Circular Economy’... but what exactly is a circular economy?

Linear Economy

For years we’ve been living in a linear economy. Basically, this means making a product from raw materials and then putting it straight in the bin once it is used.

Recycling Economy

More recently we’ve moved into a recycling economy, so instead of disposing of things once they’re used, a lot of things can be put in recycling bins where it’s broken down and remade into something else. But some have started to realise that this is just not the way forward…

Recycling sounds all well and good but only 9% of plastic is actually recycled properly. Boris Johnson recently said ‘It was a "mistake" to think society can recycle its way out of the problem, it doesn’t work.’ And doesn’t it just seem silly to break down something and make it into what it already was before? It’s a huge waste of time, resources and energy.

And that’s where the Circular Economy comes in…

Circular Economy

Instead of things going into the bin, this ‘waste’ is repaired, redistributed and reused. Think of Circla, instead of putting your plastic toiletry packaging in the bin, we collect your empties and refill them again, ready to be used again and again. DabbaDrop do the same but for takeaway packaging, and Draught Drop for beer.

A few other companies pioneering circularity are Whirlie, where you can hire children's toys, saving them from the bin when your kids (inevitability) get bored of them. Library of Things (literally a Library of Things) where you can hire anything you can think of, because how many houses really need a pasta-maker each or drill each? Borrowing instead of buying saves on landfill waste! Fast fashion is of course a huge problem too. Companies like ByRotation and Nuw help to cut down on clothes waste by providing platforms where you can hire or swap your clothes.

Any of these concepts sound familiar? (*hint* the milkman). We have been living in a throwaway society for 100 years now and we don’t want to be the Debbie downer but it is having a shocking impact on our planet.


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