Here’s a disruptive idea: zero waste. The idea of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ on steroids in industrial systems has become known as ‘the circular economy’. Far from a green pipe dream, serious thinkers are predicting massive economic benefits.
The ‘Circular Economy’ is an industrial system that is restorative by design. It’s poised to stimulate economic activity in product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment, as products get designed for longevity, re-useable parts and/or material recovery. According to analysis conducted by McKinsey & Company and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation (‘Towards the Circular Economy’), circular industrial models could potentially see material cost savings worth up to US$630 billion per annum over the next decade within one area of the European manufacturing sector alone. The ‘Circular Economy’ draws on principals such as biomimicry, systems thinking and industrial ecology, all driving toward the ideal scenario in which waste ceases to exist.
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Infographic created by Marketing based on charts, data and ideas from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation (ellenmacarthurfoundation.org) and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (thersa.org).