You may have heard of the term “circular economy” so far. But what does this mean and what is the circular economy really?
Circular economy is a production and consumption model that involves sharing, reusing, repairing, renovating and recycling existing materials and products as much as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is expanded.
In practice, this involves minimizing waste. When a product reaches the end of its lifetime, the materials it is made of is kept in the economy whenever possible. They can be used again and again, creating additional value.
The circular economy deviates from the traditional, linear economic model that relies on a take-consum-throw pattern. This model is based on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.
Also part of this model is wear planning – designing a product to have a limited lifetime to encourage consumers to buy a new one. The European Parliament has called for measures to combat this practice.