Circular Economy – Revolutionizing Resource Management

The extraction of natural resources began with the industrial revolution, which has driven the world’s economic and social progress. Earth provides raw materials that undergo transformation into desired products and are then discarded – a complete violation of the Natural principles. This traditional model where raw materials end up as waste is termed as linear economy. In short, in a linear economy, we prioritize “profit over sustainability”. In contrast, the Circular economy places sustainability at its core to ensure profitability. It guarantees that “goods of today are the resources of tomorrow at yesterday’s resource prices”. Inspired from natural cycles, there is no such thing as waste, the circular economy based on three core principles; Energy and resources are gold, harmony with natural cycles and designs and utilization of Renewable energies.

The Circular economy is frequently mistaken for the 3R concept—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. However, this concept extends beyond those actions. In a circular economy, we don’t regard natural resources as infinite, nor do we consider Earth a sink for waste. Instead, it equips us with tools to combat resource scarcity, address climate change, biodiversity loss, and waste, all while attending to social needs. In brief, it serves as an effective catalyst for sustainable development. Following the 5 principles of sustainability: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

It comprises two main cycles: the technical cycle and the biological cycle. In the technical cycle, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes such as reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling. Conversely, the biological cycle returns nutrients from biodegradable materials to the Earth, rejuvenating nature.

For example, Brazil’s government-established electronics remanufacturing facility Belo Horizonte’s Computer Reconditioning Centre embodies the circular economy concept by curbing electronic waste and addressing youth unemployment. Their strategy revolves around “repurposing redundant equipment,” encompassing the reuse and recycling of unnecessary items. What stands out is their multifaceted approach, benefiting the environment while creating job opportunities for locals. Similar to Brazil, various countries are now embracing the transition to a circular economy.

Nevertheless, while the circular economy offers numerous benefits to the economy, businesses, and the environment, its implementation poses challenges. A 2017 study conducted by Sweden identified barriers to the circular economy model, classifying them as financial, structural, operational, technological, and attitudinal. Nonetheless, considering the advantages presented by the circular economy—such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, efficient resource utilization, enhanced agricultural productivity, and mitigation of negative externalities inherent in the “linear model”— circular economy promises green future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top