It is said that the circular economy is the future. However, most of us may feel that we are in an endless cycle of pollution. In effect, we are immersed in a linear economic model that is only limited to cultivating, manufacturing, consuming and disposing.If you are still wondering if there is an alternative and what it is, here we explain a little more about the principles of the circular economy and the advantages offered by this model.
What is the circular economy?
We are talking about the definition of a whole new model of production for consumption. This approach promotes actions such as sharing and reuse, as well as repairing, recycling materials and making the most of them.
This practice seeks to minimize waste, and even contemplates that waste and pollution are never created. In this way, it is intended that the products you use and that reach the end of their useful life can be reincorporated into the economy as many times as possible.
Why do we need to change to this kind of economy?
The world’s population is growing rapidly. It has quadrupled in the last 100 years, and is projected to exceed nine billion by 2050. This is rapidly increasing the demand for raw materials, while their availability is decreasing. As you know, every day more resources are needed for food, water, shelter, clothing and electrical items.
Likewise, the excessive use of raw materials ends up causing a great environmental impact, while increasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Consequently, an economy under this structure will have a less negative impact on the environment and reduce carbon emissions.
What benefits can we find as consumers in the circular economy?
As a consumer you will discover that this model gives you benefits beyond avoiding ecological collapse. This mainly stems from greater efficiency in the material flows required to produce your favorite products.
As a result, the market in general can offer more complete and efficient products and services. It also adds advantages such as the following:
- The recovery of raw materials that yields a reduction in prices, while decreasing the costs of products and services.
- Trade phenomena, such as planned obsolescence, are overcome, extending the useful life of products.
- We enjoy better health, as food production under a circular scheme reduces our dependence on pesticides and other industrial agricultural chemicals.
As a result, this economy not only provides benefits to people, but also offers improvements to businesses. Those who begin to practice it can also obtain advantages such as these:
- It stimulates greater innovations and sustainable production processes for companies.
- It gives companies the opportunity to study patterns of behavior of their customers. From this data, you can make improvements to your products.
- The economic benefit of recovering and reusing incentivizes workforce growth.
Other sectors applying the circular model
As we see below, all sectors are likely to apply the principle under this type of economy. Pay attention.
An example in the Oil & Gas sector
Indeed, we are facing an industry that consumes large amounts of water. On the other hand, the same thing happens with the quantities of gas obtained. Thus, under a circular model, an oil excavation can use the gas to feed energy consumption in water treatment facilities. At the same time, this water can be redistributed using the same tanker trucks that already transport oil to nearby towns that need it.
Challenge of renewable energies to operate in a circular way
The renewable energy sector continues to grow at an exponential rate. Despite its success, this type of energy has its weakness in the excessive use of batteries for its operation. This is a problem that the circular model is called to solve.
As a result, it must be ensured that batteries are used to their full potential and do not become wasteful. In this case , collaboration between industries, companies and legislators will be necessary, as well as rethinking the very structure of batteries.
The use of plastics has multiplied by twenty in the last 50 years. And, due to the level of contamination they provide, we know that they must stop being manufactured in a linear way. To break this cycle, all packaging must be designed to fit within a system, whether in one of reuse, recycling or composting.
In short, to truly commit to a circular model, companies must carefully analyze their current systems, assessing where and when waste occurs and how any waste can be stopped.By redesigning processes in a circular economy, you’ll find a great way to ensure long-term sustainability with the firm intention of contributing something to a better world.