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The Circular Economy - What is It and Why Is It Important?

The Circular Economy - What is It and Why Is It Important?
By Simon Williams
May 10, 2019

Leave it to sustainable design to completely overhaul the economic balance that our society exists upon. Those two words, circular economy, are common among businesses working to reduce their carbon footprint and it’s the driving force behind recalibrating the current, and detrimental, linear economy. The linear economy encapsulates the creation, usage, and inevitable discarding of a product. So what is the circular economy, and why is this a priority of the country and beyond? Let’s take a look.

What is the circular economy?

If you think of the current linear structure as a straight line from manufacture to end of life, the circular economy is one which eliminates waste by recovering and reapplying all the materials from a product so that those materials can be reintroduced into the manufacturing stage. Essentially each technology or appliance product has materials or parts that can be recycled for future products, and this is done so by reclaiming goods to be disassembled and repurposed.

Printer cartridges, both inkjet and laser, are perfect for the circular economy as every part can be retrieved and repurposed. This leaves little, if anything, ending up in landfill.

The environmental and capital benefit

This circular economy eliminates the need to source and use virgin materials, instead of using already manufactured resources. These structures promote economic, natural and social capital - ensuring generations ahead are not left with a resource deficit and can instead adopt the circular economy framework. By recovering and repurposing existing materials, the circular economy minimises the reliance and deletion of non-renewable resources. This structure produces economic and social benefits by leaving a greater reserve of non-renewable resources for future generations.

What’s the future of the circular economy?

Previously all sustainability groups and initiatives have not benefited from strong government support or organisational structure. This is no longer the case, with influential forces coming together to build a tangible proposition against unnecessary waste. With the global population on track to reach nine billion by 2030, these discussions and actions have never been more critical to the future of our existence. The question becomes whether or not the public is being communicated with enough to start the conditioning and re-education so that greater strides can be made in the public sphere.

If you are looking to contribute to the circular economy movement in a personal or professional capacity, you can start making changes today. Identify what used technology you have in your possession and ensure they are delivered to the right entities that can reuse parts and recycle them into new technology. Even things that you dispose of regularly, like printer cartridges, can be resurrected and used in future cartridges, as well as many other products.