For our new blog series, we want to dive a little deeper into the ecological (and economic) problem of waste management. In particular, we want to focus on the topic of the circular economy.
What is the problem?
To answer this question, it is helpful to take a look at how the problem arises. Currently, the predominant economic system is a linear economic system, also known as a "throwaway economy". Numerous resources are used for the production of goods and at the end of their life cycle, the goods are thrown away by the end consumer. An assumption that must be given for this economic system is that the resources used for production are not scarce, and as we all know, this is not the case.
The significant consumption of resources creates some significant problems. These include the loss of biodiversity, as well as the increased emission of greenhouse gases. For example, it is estimated that approximately 90% of biodiversity loss and more than 50% of total greenhouse gases are due to resource extraction and consumption.
How does the circular economy work?
The goal of the circular economy is to extend the life cycle of products. In doing so, the materials and products used should be reused, repaired, or recycled for as long as possible. As a result, the amount of waste should be reduced, and the products would remain in the economic cycle for a longer period. A good example of this are PET plastic bottles, which are returned as a deposit and reprocessed into plastic bottles, plastic bags, or even jerseys.
Overall, the circular economy can help reduce the burden on the environment, ensure the supply of resources, and promote sustainable economic growth with new jobs.
In the next blog article, we would like to take a closer look at the circular economy in the textile industry and what the future might look like in the industry.