Many businesses are coming to the same conclusion about waste—there’s simply not enough of it. The problem is so widespread that businesses large and small are taking action with initiatives like Zero Waste programs, Extended Producer Responsibility laws, and other ways to reduce waste and make more products recyclable or compostable.
As such, companies are shifting towards making and selling products for one-time use or disposable products that they often end up in landfills before their useful lives are over. This concept of doing things is referred to as a circular economy.
An economy that is circular rather than linear is one in which materials continuously loop through different production processes again instead of ending up as trash. A circular economy uses resources more efficiently throughout a product’s life cycle, from creation to final disposal.
If you’re looking for ways to implement a circular economy in your business, read these three key characteristics you should expect to find in a sustainable economy.
1. Prioritizes Eco-Friendly Practices
Pollution is killing wildlife, destroying valuable ecosystems, and harming human health. What’s worse is many people don’t realize how much of an impact industrial production has on the environment.
A circular economy is designed to minimize pollution caused during its production process. It requires manufacturers to use renewable energy sources and renewable feedstocks, such as plant materials or agricultural wastes. They also need to reuse their own byproducts instead of dumping them into the environment.
In addition, the products used in a circular economy are designed to be easy to recycle.
2. Repair Services Will Be More Abundant and Affordable
You’ve undoubtedly experienced the frustration of buying a product that is advertised as “unbreakable” or “durable,” only to have it break within a few months. Then you have to either repair it or replace it completely.
With a sustainable circular economy, repairing products is a priority. Not only does this extend the product life but it also prevents unnecessary waste. It also provides a source of income for people who specialize in repairing items like clothing, appliances, electronics, and tools.
3. High Employment Rate and Better Working Conditions
A circular economy aims to reduce the amount of labor required to produce goods and services. This means that it encourages businesses to focus on automation and the use of technology, rather than on manual labor.
By prioritizing automation over manual labor, a company can ensure that they are using fewer human resources where possible. This means that they can offer their employees better working conditions, and be more efficient in their production processes.
The Bottom Line
The demand for sustainable and circular economic models has never been greater. Manufacturers, technologists, and businesses are designing and adopting circular economic models, and consumers are showing their support for these models by choosing goods and services that contribute to a cleaner, safer and healthier world.
Five years from now, a circular economy will be the new normal. It’s up to all of us to make sure it comes sooner rather than later.