We are well aware of the age-old practise where raw materials are taken from the earth, made into products for our use and disposed of when it no more serves us, this is the traditional linear model which has caused a loss of resources and energy. Circular economy as the name signifies has a circular model where instead of disposing of the waste they are reused, remanufactured or recycled. Hence it aims at sustainable material management
Why do we need a circular economy?
Human activities have resulted in the depletion of global resources, there is a constant pressure as the demand is always increasing for these resources. This increased consumption of resources has also led to the creation of enormous amounts of waste that are dumped into the environment itself.
Benefits of a circular economy.
- It can help protect ecological goods and services from pollution and wastes generated by us
- It helps us limit our demand for resources per capita
- It helps to build new businesses, technologies, governance, institutions, employment opportunities etc
- Since the waste is considered as valuable resources it is reused or recycled as much as possible ultimately reducing the human footprint on the environment.
The 7 ways in which circular economy can be practised are
- Prioritize renewable resources
- Preserve already built goods
- Use waste
- Rethink business model
- Incorporate technology
- Collaborate and rise
When it comes to circular economy EPR plays an important role as it helps in recycling its waste produced. Informal sector (in developing countries) also helps to recover materials that would otherwise be dumped.
The circular economy has to take birth somewhere and the initial steps can be the basic 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) can be practised at our own homes. The circular economy is the future as it will help us sustainably manage resources right from the mining of materials to reuse them.