What exactly is meant by circular economy?
A look at this diagram will help you understand. Here we see the symbolic representation of two raw material loops – one in green, the other in blue. This diagram is based on the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy model. The colour green denotes the biological cycle of organic raw materials, whereas blue symbolises the technical cycle of materials such as metal or plastic from production to recycling.
The circular economy is a model of production and consumption in which existing materials and products are shared, leased, reused, repaired, refurbished and recycled for as long as possible. This prolongs the life cycle of the products. In practice, it means that waste is reduced to a minimum.
In our field of work, when we talk about product concepts for a true circular economy, we are primarily referring to the outermost blue cycle called “recycling”.