Akinpelu Babatola

Guest Writer, The Xpress Train

The business world currently operates on a linear economy. Linear economies involve a lot of use and disuse. Tons of waste end up generated though. 

And this is what birthed the concept of a circular economy. 

If you have ever wondered what could be done to save the planet, well, listen up. That’s the focus of a circular economy. 

So what exactly is the circular economy? How does it work? And is it beneficial?

Well, let’s find out together. 

What is a Circular Economy?

A circular economy is a model that focuses on cyclic processes. Unlike the linear economy, focus is on the restoration and regeneration of products. The system ensures that products and materials reuse for a long time. 

The linear economy has defined beginnings and ends. Once a product has served its desired purpose, it becomes waste. Recycling and reuse are foreign concepts to linear economies. 

A circular economy on the other hand, focuses on recycling and reuse. This is all thanks to current technology trends. 

How does it work?

Circular economies consider energy and raw materials to be essential. The concept of a circular economy is to design waste out completely. To achieve this, products are designed to last and for further use after their life cycle. 

The linear economy model is characterized by large energy use and wastage. To combat this, a circular economy model uses renewable energy sources. This will ensure energy conservation. 

Solving the energy problem is the first step. Circular economy models also make clear distinctions between technical and biological cycles. 

Biological cycles are the cycles where consumption happens. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and so on, they all form part of the biological cycle. A circular economy would work with ideas like composting and anaerobic digestion to ensure waste is negated. 

Technical cycles are concerned with materials, components, and products. Efforts in a circular economy will be geared towards their recovery and restoration. This will yield a system that has a high utility of products at all times. 

Benefits of a circular economy.

A Circular economy model can yield several benefits for you. If properly adopted, some benefits we can look forward to are:

  • A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Healthier soils for agricultural purposes. 
  • Reduction in environmental resource consumption
  • Boost in economic growth potential
  • Maximization of resource utility
  • Reduction in unemployment rates. 

Barriers to adopting a circular economy model.

A circular economy is definitely beneficial. But adopting the circular economy model is not without its difficulties. Some barriers limit the rate at which it is being adopted. 

Two major barriers are:

  • Some benefits can’t be measured in economic terms. Benefits like improved environmental conditions do not have monetary values. 
  • The current system does not allow for easy closing of cyclic loops. New business owners find it difficult to implement circular economy plans in a linear economy.

References

https://youmatter.world/en/definition/definitions-circular-economy-meaning-definition-benefits-barriers/

https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept/building-blocks