Remember the old adage that most of us have heard of: ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’?
Circular economy on the lines of this mantra, involves a positive cycle which stands in stark contrast to the wide-spread linear economy which is based on the approach of take, make and dispose.
Circular economy or CE preserves and improves natural resources by optimizing waste in a way so that it can be used as a valuable resource which can be put back into the existing or a new supply chain as a secondary raw material.
Simply put, it is a form of resource match-making. Organizations find out which of their existing waste materials will match with new applications either in their operations or within other organizations.
Its many benefits include lower environmental impact, solution to resource crisis, more competitive economy and much more. It also allows businesses to implement it either independently or collaboratively.
Stages of Circular Economy
- Stage 1: Production and Consumption
It is essential to begin with production and processes because they form the first level. Hence, if they are designed smartly the entire process of waste management ahead, will be optimized. This is because introducing smart designs and processes at the production stage itself will help businesses save resources, increase financial gains, reduce waste generation and produce sustainably enhanced products. So at consumption level, these products after consumption can easily be recycled and reused. This means lower levels of waste generated.
- Stage 2: Managing Waste and Secondary Raw Material
The next stage of a CE involves waste management to extract valuable secondary raw material which can either be recycled or be reused. And these materials hold immense value because the not just reduce environmental footprint but also manufacturing costs.
Gradually many organizations across the globe are embracing CE and its many benefits. If you are thinking about making the switch, here are some examples from where you can draw inspiration—
- A majority of companies which are traditional battery recyclers are basically mining companies. So, they have decided to dig smarter into the waste than dig deeper into the ground.
- Giant groups such as the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development have created B2B material online markets for companies who wish to sell or buy absolutely everything from wood and cardboard to brewery by-products.
- Many of the UK’s national waste operators are following CE. For instance, SITA figured out a way to use unrecyclable commercial material as a fuel in cement processing kilns. Viridor provides material to recycle plastic bottles to the Coca Cola ECO Plastics plant.
There are many other renowned global brands which have turned to CE to make a difference to environment while taking their businesses to new heights of success.
The old waste industry is now a new resource industry and is at the heart of the promising Circular Economy. So, don’t let this opportunity go to waste; instead, reuse or recycle by adopting CE and move to a greener future, financially and environmentally!
Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.