After working in the consumer goods industry the last few years, I am particularly cognizant about the amount of waste that our economy of mass consumerism generates each year. We live in the “take-make-waste” linear economy. We take materials from the earth, make goods, and discard them when they are no longer needed or wanted. Unfortunately, we often also don’t make the best use of newly created goods, either because of poor quality, because they don’t meet our needs or wants or because we lose quickly lose interest in them. Our current system was built without accounting for the impact of extracting and discarding materials.
There is an alternative to this economic system called the circular economy. As it sounds, the goal of the circular economy is to transform the linear “take-make-waste” system into a loop that eliminates waste, maximizes the use of resources, and builds up our natural systems instead of damaging them. The circular economy is a new systemic approach to answer the question: What do we need to do differently today to take responsibility for all the products/food we create?
This is an incredibly complex challenge, but it is necessary help protect and revitalize our planet and societal well-being. Our collective human ingenuity has created the current economic system. Today’s challenges require us to focus our efforts into transforming our system into one that benefits businesses, society, and the environment.
I encourage you to learn more about the circular economy and what role you can play by visiting the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website. Their mission is to develop and promote the idea of a circular economy: