A circular economy is achieved by using resources in a more efficient and sustainable way. It involves reducing waste, reusing materials and products, recycling them and repurposing them. This helps to keep resources in use for as long as possible by closing the loop on their lifecycle. To achieve this, business models should be designed with the aim of optimising resource use and minimising the demand for new resources. Additionally, it is important to focus on prevention, reuse and recycling of products instead of relying solely on disposal as a way to manage waste. By engaging stakeholders in an integrated approach, businesses can facilitate a shift towards a more circular economy. This includes consumers who should be empowered with information to help them make informed choices about their consumption habits.
In order to move towards a circular economy, governments need to create policies that incentivise businesses and encourage individuals and organisations to take action. These could include product taxes or subsidies for companies that promote reuse or put incentives into place for those who recycle materials such as plastics or electronics. The development of green infrastructure is also essential for realising a circular economy, as it helps reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources and solidifies incentives for reuse and recycling. Furthermore, governments must ensure that businesses are held accountable for their environmental impact and should adopt guidelines to encourage better resource management.
Aside from policy changes, increased collaboration between industry, government, academia and civil society is needed in order to develop an effective system of a circular economy. This means bringing different stakeholders together to share knowledge and expertise in order to identify how best to progress towards a more sustainable economic model. Educating individuals, business owners and consumers about the importance of using resources responsibly is also important. Companies should be encouraged to use lifecycle assessments when designing products in order to determine their full environmental impact throughout its entire life.