Towards the Circular Economy
Thursday 27th April 2017
Today’s society follows a simple ‘make, use and dispose’ rule. A bigger television comes out so we rid of the old one never to be seen again, a washing machine breaks and we instantly buy a new one. This lifestyle of which we live by is referred to as the linear economy, and many would say a wasteful economy. British charity The Ellen Macarthur Foundation is seeking to accelerate a change in our economy to a circular economy, one that is restorative and regenerative by design.
A circular economy allows materials to be transformed multiple times to create a variety of different products over time, therefore minimalizing waste to a mass degree. Products are ‘made to be made again.’ The Ellen Macarthur Foundation, whose global partners include Google, Renault and Philips, aims to accelerate the transition where today’s goods become tomorrow’s resources, with projects such as its New Plastics Economy Programme.
What if we could re-use, recover and regenerate products, if the same piece of plastic used to make a bottle, was then used to make a pen, and then years later used to create a part for a car? This is exactly what the three year programme is seeking to do. Currently only 14 percent of global plastic packaging is recycled , all the rest worth an estimated 60 billion pounds every year is lost after one short use. Environmentally, by 2050 this means there is expected to be more fish in the sea than plastic. The Foundation is bringing together leading organisations and experts from all over the world to redefine the process of plastic use and recovery to one which produces renewable energy sources and that builds economic, natural and social capital. New designs and business models are in progress to form an effective way of using and recovering plastics with environmental and economical gains all over the globe.
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation is currently running many programmes to gain an active circular economy. The Foundation claims ‘there's a world of opportunity to re-think and re-design our future, where nothing is lost and everything is transformed.
Paper Round specialise in providing closed loop solutions which support a circular economy. For example, the paper we collect from you is recycled and can be back in your printer within 6 weeks. To find out more, head to our paper recycling page.