What is the circular economy?

AN EFFICIENT ECONOMY IN THE USE OF RESOURCES


“The philosophy of UNIBAT is based on promoting the emerging circular economy, an efficient system in the use of resources in a more sustainable society.”


The circular economy is an economic concept whose primary objective is to ensure that the value of a resource remains in the economy for as long as possible, and to ensure that the generation of waste is minimized.

This concept is linked with sustainability and seeks to achieve maximum possible development using the fewest possible resources while generating the minimum cost, always in complete harmony with economic norms and social and environmental responsibilities.

It is a new environmental principle based on the rules of the three Rs “reduce, reuse and recycle” to work as nature does and move away from the traditional linear economy, based on a “take, make, dispose” model in which waste increases and accumulates.

According to this idea, one person’s waste becomes another person’s resources, to the extent that products must be designed to be deconstructed, so that waste can be transformed into secondary raw materials that become part of new production cycles.

The circular economy is one of the key initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, whose main purpose is to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in a recycling society. It aims to create a political framework that supports the transition towards an efficient economy in the use of resources and low carbon emission that helps to:

1# Improve economic results while reducing the use of resources.
2# Ensure the security of the supply of essential resources.
3# Fight against climate change and limit the environmental impact of the use of resources.

The Circular Economy Foundation points to the following principles, which are useful and relevant for understanding how the concept of the circular economy has been deployed:

1# Eco-design: considers the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product and integrates them into its design.


2# Industrial and territorial ecology: establishment of an industrial organizational method in a territory characterized by an optimized management of stocks and flows of materials, energy and services.


3# The “functionality” economy: favour use versus possession, the sale of a service versus a product.


4# Second use: reintroduce in the economic circuit those products that no longer meet the initial needs of consumers.


5# Reuse: reuse certain waste products or certain parts of them that still work for the development of new products.


6# Repair: give damaged products a second life.


7# Recycle: make use of materials found in waste.


8# Energy recovery: extract energy from waste that cannot be recycled.


Benefits of the circular economy

  • Reduce the use of resources

  • Reduce waste production

  • Limit energy consumption and environmental impact

  • Create wealth and employment