Circular economy 2.0
The circular economy is now valued at 1.8 trillion euros by 2030 in Europe alone. Millions of people and tens of thousands of businesses are now participating in this innovative circular economic approach.
Rapid advancements in technology and innovation are propelling this economic transition, along with the obvious fact that earth will run out of resources to meet the current needs of our growing human population – anticipated to exceed 9.8 billion by 2050.
Resources are getting too expensive, and the products created are fast becoming waste items that are not good for us or the environment.
Just last week, we found out that plastics are now officially inside humans. Not such a surprise as they have been detected in fish, marine life and salt. But now we know for sure that if they are not already inside us, they will be soon, and they may also be the cause of illnesses and even infertility.
If we were ever going to transition away from our linear throw-away economy and rethink the products we manufacture and the way we use them, now would be a good time.
Circularity economics is about decoupling population growth from resource use – ensuring the wellbeing of people does not rely on how much of our natural resources we consume.
It provides a mechanism for resource efficiency, sustainable growth and carbon elimination by promoting new business models that give humans what we really need to survive and be happy. For example, I don’t really want a light bulb – what I need is light. I don’t always want a car, but I need mobility. I definitely don’t want plastic waste, but I need food and water.
Circular economy doesn’t only generate savings for the environment, it makes economic sense by increasing competitiveness. The savings of production have been estimated in the EU alone to be to 600 billion euros – a huge increase in competitiveness, with greenhouse gas savings of around 50 per cent. New sectors, jobs and businesses are being created like battery recycling worth 400 to 500 million euros annually -–a massive increase over the past five years.