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How (and why) to Build a Circular Economy

Before we elaborate on the Circular Economy, think about this. Around 1940:

  • the global population was about 2 billion people

  • global average for the human longevity was about 45 years

This means that in about 70 years, the population multiplied by 4 and the longevity doubled.

But did the World's capacity of generating natural resources - e.g. water and land - grew at the same pace ? What about the plastics and waste disposal ?

The way we live now is using 60% more resources than the Earth can provide – and creating too much waste, according to experts.

Circular economy is not only a nice line of action, but a necessity. That is why we are revisiting this article by the World Economic Forum (WEF), "What is the circular economy, and why does it matter that it is shrinking?". It was updated on March 2023 and October 2022 after first published on 14 June 2022.

Here are the highlights:

  • In a circular economy, products are used again and again, which reduces our use of precious raw materials and cuts CO2 emissions.

  • However, the amount of secondary materials being cycled back into the global economy has shrunk in the past five years.

  • "The Circularity Gap Report" highlights circular solutions across global systems that we need to follow to get things back on track.

  • Circular economy initiatives are also helping, including the "Circulars Accelerator", an innovation programme run in collaboration with the WEF.

A set of 16 circular solutions have been modelled across four global systems. Here are a few examples:

  • Food systems: put healthier, satiating foods firts & no more avoidable food waste

  • Built environment: make the most of whats already exists & reuse waste

  • Manufactured goods and consumables: mainstream industrial symbiosis and efficiency & eschew fast fashion in favour of sustainable textiles

  • Mobility and transport: embrace car-free lifestyles and roads & rethink air-travel

Click at the image below to download the report "The Circularity Gap Report" (upon quick registry) that includes real case examples. Here you have the WEF post, including other discussions, among them the state of global circularity and how innovation can fuel the circular economy. Finally, you have the "Circulars Accelerator".


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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