The concept of the circular economy is closely related to sustainability and it aims to ensure that the value of products, materials and resources (water, energy, etc.) should stay in the economy for as long as posible, minimising the production of waste. It is a new economy, a circular – not linear – economy based on the principle of “closing the life cycle loop” of products, services, waste, materials, water and energy. The aim of the circular economy is to produce goods and services while reducing waste and the consumption of raw materials, water and sources of energy.
The linear model of the existing economy (take, make, use and throw away) has gone as far as it can with the obvious exhaustion of natural resources and fossil fuels. The circular economy offers a new model of a society that optimises stocks and flows of materials, energy and waste and its objective is the efficient use of resources.
The circular economy offers us a new model of a society that uses and optimises materials and waste, giving them a second life. This means that products are designed to be reused and recycled. Thanks to eco-design, once the useful life of a product is over, it can be reused or recycled from its first part to its last. In the circular economy, we need to convert what up to now we have thought of as waste into new raw materials. And in doing so, generate jobs in the so-called green economy.
The challenge for business is enormous, but there is also a great opportunity and some businesses will have to completely re-invent themselves. Experts warn that change is urgent. At Molmat we have started to assess the viability of a number of changes to adapt our business to the circular economy.