So, what do we mean when we say “circular economy”? It means finding ways to make sure that our resources can be used again and again, creating a “loop” with less waste. It’s based around three principles:
- Design packaging to reduce waste
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
Right now, a lot of our plastic use is still linear – meaning it goes in one direction: take a resource, make it into something useful, and then dispose it at the end of its life. Of all the world’s plastic packaging, currently only 14% gets recycled. Much of the rest ends up in landfill, or worse, litters our streets, streams and oceans. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea! Putting the principles of circular thinking into action at scale can have world changing effects.
Using cleverly designed materials, products, systems and business models, a circular economy can dramatically cut down or totally eliminate waste. Basically, we create things that, if they stop being useable in their original form, can easily be turned into something else… and in doing so make a renewable circle that keeps going and going and going.