Understanding the circular economy approach, the challenges involved, and the barriers in place.
Circular Economy. This phrase has been going around quite a lot lately, and you probably have some idea of what it means. But to understand the concept fully, and appreciate the nuance involved, it’s helpful to dive into a few definitions.
Our current economic model, referred to as the linear economy, is one of take, make, use, dispose. It tends to be wasteful, expensive, and uses a lot of natural resources.
The circular economy, in contrast, is bigger, bolder, and more ambitious. It aims to achieve a zero-waste status with no new material inputs, while also educating consumers on the consequences of their purchasing choices.
Circular Economy ≠ Recycling
Keep in mind, it’s not just about recycling. The linear economy model often involves some recycling, but when products are recycled in the linear economy, they deteriorate each time, and eventually become waste.
A circular economy does not have this deterioration drawback. Instead, no new materials would be required, as the recycled material would be entirely reclaimed.
Moving to a fully circular production model is certainly a tall order:
- some new inputs will always be created, some waste will always be around
- high upfront costs are involved, and
- organizational change can be difficult.
So Where to Start?
Consumers are driving a shift to circular, and governments are taking action too: 175 nations recently started discussions to end plastic pollution. While on the local level, states and municipalities are banning single use plastic bags, straws, and utensils.
For businesses, one great place to start is moving supply chains into a circular economy model. Changes here can have drastic impacts. When you can reuse products and improve recycling efficiency, everyone wins.
Dissolving Cleaners Help in the Move Toward Circular
Aqua ChemPacs is proud to be a part of the effort to move cleaning product supply chains into a circular economy approach. Our dissolving pac technology allows for re-use of cleaning bottles over and over and over again. In just the last year, our ChemPacs have prevented an estimated 36 million bottles, the equivalent of more than 6.8 million pounds of plastic waste, from reaching landfills.
And they save money in the process; a rare win-win! Want to give our cleaning pacs a try? Request samples today.