Take, create, use, and finally throw away. For many years, this has been the standard approach to the production and consumption of goods. Companies take raw materials and transform them into finished products, which are then purchased by consumers, who ultimately dispose of them, thereby creating waste. However, as warnings about environmental degradation and climate change grow louder, people have started to question the sustainability of this model. They are seeking new ways of enabling environmental sustainability. But to achieve this feat, it is essential to bend the curve from a take-make-waste model to a restorative and regenerative model that eliminates waste through the superior design of products, materials, and business models.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how the circular economy is enabling environmental sustainability.
What Is Circular Economy?
According to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development that is designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. As opposed to the linear take-make-dispose model, the circular economy is designed to regenerate resources and focuses on gradually separating growth from the consumption of finite resources. In other words, the circular economy is a sustainability model whose ultimate goal is to create a net-zero effect by addressing every stage of the product life cycle: from the extraction of raw materials to product design and use, through to end-of-use management.
How the Circular Economy Enables Environmental Sustainability
There’s a world of opportunity to rethink and redesign how we create various items. By rethinking, we explore the changes in perspective on ways of redesigning the way our economy works—essentially, this means creating products that can be recycled.
Here is an outline of the principles of the circular economy that promote environmental sustainability.
1. Eliminate Waste and Pollution
The first principle of the circular economy is waste and pollution elimination. At the moment, our economy operates on a take-make-waste system. We basically extract raw materials from the earth, create products from them, and eventually toss them away as waste.
In a circular economy, rather than throwing away waste, it is treated as a design flaw – a specification for any product design is that the materials re-enter the economy at the end of their use. This way, we do away with the linear take-make-waste system and make it circular.
2. Circulate Products and Materials
This typically means keeping materials in use, either as a product or, when they can no longer be used, as raw materials or components. As such, nothing gets wasted, and the intrinsic value of products and materials is retained.
There are different ways materials and products can be kept in circulation. That said, it is helpful to think of two fundamental cycles when circulating products and materials – the biological cycle and the technical cycle. In the biological cycle, all the biodegradable materials are returned to the earth through processes like anaerobic digestion and composting. In the technical cycle, materials and products are repaired, reused, manufactured, and recycled.
3. Regeneration of Nature
By shifting from the linear take-make-waste economy to the circular economy, we support room for more natural processes and enable environmental sustainability. Instead of continuously degrading the environment, the circular economy helps build natural capital.
Flexcon’s Recycle Bin Totes Promote Environmental Sustainability
Flexcon’s postal totes provide an efficient way of recycling that everyone can handle. These containers are uniquely designed to heed all municipality requirements of a curbside box made from multiple materials. With there being numerous standards and sizes of recycling bin totes available, you can be sure to find a container that meets all your recycling needs.
Recycle bin totes from Flexcon can serve different purposes. Here is an outline of some of the common ways they can be used:
- Keeping away biohazardous medical waste: These containers can be used to safely tuck away sharps, gloves, syringes, bandages, needles, or IV catheters that contain fluids like human blood.
- Storing manufacturing waste: Manufacturers can use recycling bin totes to store waste that emanates from the manufacturing process – these containers help them get the waste safely to recycling plants.
- Tech companies: These entities use these containers to keep their products from electrostatic discharge.
- Storing out-of-season items: You can use these containers to keep items you won’t need until the next season as you ponder whether or not to recycle them.
Postal totes by Flexcon offer end-to-end container solutions to help optimize recycling and reuse.