A lot is said today about Circular Economy, but do you really know what it is about? Nowadays, we use the formula of linear economy, consisting on the usage of finite resources, which would be: extracting, producing, putting away.
Circular Economy, as stated in the name, intends that the extracted and produced resources be maintained in circulation through productive chains intentionally connected after its final use. According to this formula, we eliminate the final management of residues, garbage, which goes back to being part of the design process and systems.
The main idea is to eliminate trash, being aware of each material in a cyclic scheme, from one product to the other, maintaining and even increasing its value in certain cases.
In Circular Economy the economic growth is separated from the new crescent use of new natural resources and raw materials, making the most of resources already being used by the productive chain. In other words, after its final use or consumption, those resources return as repair, new manufactories or upcycle.
It has just become a bit more complicated, right? Upcycle? What’s that supposed to be?
I’m sure you’ve heard of recycling before, right?
So, to recycle (or downcycle) is what we do today with some types of debris which, after their final use, are put away and brought back to be reutilized, but on a smaller scale. It’s not as broad as upcycling is supposed to be.
Upcycling would be the same than having nearly full exploitation of these resources. It’s like coming back to same starting point. The raw materials and their final products are developed intentionally with their reusage or reparation in mind.
Amongst the concepts described today, I’d like to emphasize our subject by saying that circular economy is a regenerative industrial system which brings great strategic and operational benefits and increases the creation of jobs by a lot.
At the World Economic Forum meeting of 2014, in Davos, a report was delivered after consistent studies, called Towards The Circular Economy, which suggests a quick transition from linear system to circular system, pointing the benefits that come from that shift of models, as widely broadcasted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Now it comes down to local governments to apply themselves into adopting this new economic system which only brings good things for the environment, reflecting entirely the philosophy of sustainable economy.
Acting local, thinking global!
Dr. Carlos Avelino
Lawyer | Coach | Socio-environmental Auditor and Consultant