The Environmental Benefits of a Circular Economy

Let’s start with a simple question: What happens to all of your food waste? The organic matter that’s left over after you fix a big meal or clean out the refrigerator? In a linear economy, the answer is pretty straight forward: It all gets thrown away.

But what if there was another way? That’s where the model of the circular economy comes into play. To put it most succinctly, a circular economy is one in which were use our resources, putting them back into the economy rather than discarding them. So instead of tossing all of our food waste into a landfill somewhere, we find ways to recycle it or to use it to produce new consumables.

The model of the circular economy may seem like a pipe dream or an unrealistic ideal, but in actuality it’s anything but: The European Union is actually aiming for a circular economy by the year 2050, and countless countries, municipalities, and even corporations have pledged their own circular economy initiatives.

The circular economy model is one that we believe in here at WasteXperts, for a few different reasons. The first, and we can’t stress this enough, is financial in nature. We believe it’s economically sound for our clients, including multi-family buildings, to reuse rather than to throw away. More on that in a later post.

How the Circular Economy Benefits the Environment

The other reason we believe in the circular economy is because we think it makes good environmental sense. In fact, there are several ways in which adopting a circular economy would promote ecological stewardship.

  1. A circular economy reduces our dependence on non-renewable resources. Non-renewable resources are limited by definition, so anything that helps us conserve them is ultimately smart in the long term. But in a true circular economy, nothing is ever wasted or thrown away, including things like metal ores and oil. Essentially, a     circular economy reuses or refurbishes these items, ensuring that fewer non-renewables need to be consumed.
  2. Moving to a circular economy would lower carbon emissions. So much has been said about the need to     reduce carbon emissions as a way of counteracting climate change that we won’t be labor the point here. Simply note that a majority of greenhouse gas emissions stem from materials management, which includes things like     the production of new materials and the disposal of old materials. Even moving to a circular economy with our food waste would promote a more sustainable model of materials management.
  3. The goal of a circular economy is to have zero waste. Ultimately, when we talk about a circular economy, we’re talking about a model in which nothing is ever wasted… which means no plastics thrown into the ocean, no organic food waste hogging landfill space, etc. This is unquestionably a boon for the cleanliness of our planet.

Moving Toward a Circular Economy

We’ve mentioned the topic of food waste several times now. That’s because this is one area where we’ve actually seen significant progress toward a circular economy. Legislation like California’s SB 1383 has provided a great example, and states like Washington are following suit. Meanwhile, more localized organics programs have popped up in cities like Austin, showing how the circular economy can be embraced at a grassroots level.

Also note that there are tangible steps that your business or multi-family space can take toward participation in a circular economy, enjoying some of the economic benefits while also contributing toward the ecological ones. One thing you can do is to ensure that your food waste management is being handled by a company that puts the circular economy principles into action through its business model.

Look no further than to WasteXperts. We’d love to tell you more about our recycling and on-site waste management programs, and about the ecological principles that they embody. Contact us to find out more.

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