Monday 29th October 2018
Our planet’s resources are not unlimited. Blue Planet 2 inspired many of us to start thinking about the materials we use and where they will end up. We need to move away from a ‘take, make, dispose’ model and move towards one where waste is seen as a resource. This month, we’re focused on #circularstories, understanding what the circular economy is and looking at those organisations helping to build a new approach to business.
What does a circular economy look like?
The world of waste is in a state of flux. China have moved the goalposts and no longer accept our contaminated waste. Coffee culture has led to 2.5 billion cups being thrown away per year, and we’re all still reeling from the jaw dropping amount of plastic that’s being exposed in our oceans. It’s time to rethink our waste. What we use, how long we use it for and crucially, what it can become.
The circular economy, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, ‘aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system’. It is based on three principles:
1. Regenerate natural systems
2. Design out waste and pollution
3. Keep products and materials in use.
The last two principles are where we step in. Paper Round supports the circular economy and it is at the heart of our business model. In fact, our business began by collecting paper, recycling it, and transforming it back into paper again. So instead of paper being made, used once, and then disposed of, the same resource is used again and again.
How can you support the circular economy?
This involves taking apart products at their component level rather breaking them into separate materials.
Where you sell or donate an unaltered product. With our IT and furniture recycling service, if the materials are in good condition, we will either sell or donate them on.
Extending the life of a product with its first owner or making it easier to repair.
Developing products, which use fewer materials or have a smaller environmental footprint, that are designed to be more durable.
If you recycle with us, then you are probably already participating in the circular economy. We can recycle most effectively when the recycling you provide is clean and free from contamination. This preserves the value of the materials, so they can be recycled to their full potential.