The principles of a circular economy
A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It is an economic system aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources. The traditional approach is based on a linear economy with a ‘make, use, and dispose’ model of production. The circular economy approach replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals that impair reuse and return to the biosphere, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and business models.
The three main principles of the circular economy are:
(i) design out waste and pollution,
(ii) keep products and materials in use, and
(iii) regenerate natural systems.
Sources: Ellen MacArthur Foundation; WEF, 2014.