The linear system of our current economy consisting in extraction, manufacturing, use and disposal of products is reaching its limits and depletion of natural resources and fossil fuels is becoming a reality. In contrast to this linear system, circular economy is becoming stronger. Circular economy is an economic concept included in the framework of sustainable development.
The purpose of circular economy is to implement a solution based on the principle of “closing the life cycle” of products, producing goods and services while consumption and waste of raw materials, water and energy is reduced. The circular economy is, therefore, an intersection of environmental and economic aspects.
The fundamental principle of circular economy is the use of waste as raw material, thus drastically reducing waste generation and extraction of new materials. Moreover, within this concept other principles are considered: environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of goods and services; prioritize the use of a product versus the possession of it and the delivery of a service versus the sale of it; repair of damaged products; and finally the reuse and recycle principle.
The implementation of these principles involve a number of benefits for both the environment and society as circular economy also considered a key social inclusion. These benefits are:
-Decrease in use of resources, reduction of waste production and reduction of power consumption.
-The Circular economy contributes to create wealth and employment.
-Allows Gain a competitive advantage in the context of globalization as it reduces dependence on a few external and uncertain supplies.
-Open the perspective to a sustainable and lasting growth system.
But if the circular economy brings many benefits, why is not stably implanted worldwide ?. Part of the answer to this question is that companies can’t get all the information themselves to confidence and ability to implement this type of economy and the financial system does not usually provide investments for innovative management models, as they are considered risky and complex . Thus, the economy “block” remains in the linear system.
On the other hand, traditional consumer habits also hinder the development of new products and services, especially in a situation where prices do not reflect the actual costs of manufacture and use of products and policies that don’t show a clear transition towards a circular economy.
However, and fortunately, society and politicians are waking leading to the existence, increasingly, of laws and business models aimed to develop a green and environmental-friendly economy.
“The throwaway society is an unfair system at all levels, which is impoverishing and polluting our planet, while destroying the social fabric of many communities.”
Alberto D. Oliver Fraila