A Circular Economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. This presents an obvious solution to the problem of resource scarcity.
A ‘circular’ approach seeks to:
- design out waste and pollution – products are designed so that they can be readily disassembled and reused at end of life;
- maintain value (of products and materials) by designing for repair or remanufacture to extend lifecycle(s) – products last longer and are designed to do so;
- regenerate natural systems, i.e. through composting and anaerobic digestion;
- develop new/alternative organisation models, e.g. organisations move away from selling products to selling the service of that product.
IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals