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Isaiah Rogers
Isaiah Rogers

Circular Economy __LINK__



The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.




circular economy



The circular economy, when designed in a thoughtful and inclusive manner, has the potential to protect the environment, improve economics, and elevate social justice. Sustainability from its foundation requires social equity. How we extract, use, and dispose of our resources can affect already vulnerable communities disproportionately.


Underserved communities across this nation have been overburdened with the negative environmental and health impacts caused by a non-circular economy. Many landfills and manufacturing and processing facilities are located in close proximity to low-income communities. EPA's circular economy for all aims to reduce waste and toxic materials and reuse critical minerals during manufacture and processing. Safe jobs and healthy communities are the goals.


A circular economy (also referred to as circularity and CE)[2] is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.[3] CE aims to tackle global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution by emphasizing the design-based implementation of the three base principles of the model. The three principles required for the transformation to a circular economy are: eliminating waste and pollution, circulating products and materials, and the regeneration of nature. CE is defined in contradistinction to the traditional linear economy.[4][5] The idea and concepts of circular economy (CE) have been studied extensively in academia, business, and government over the past ten years. CE has been gaining popularity because it helps to minimize emissions and consumption of raw materials, open up new market prospects and principally, increase the sustainability of consumption and improve resource efficiency.[6][7]


In a linear economy, natural resources are turned into products that are ultimately destined to become waste because of the way they have been designed and manufactured. This process is often summarized by "take, make, waste".[10] By contrast, a circular economy employs reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, reducing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.[11] The circular economy aims to keep products, materials, equipment and infrastructure[12] in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. Waste materials and energy should become input for other processes through waste valorization: either as a component for another industrial process or as regenerative resources for nature (e.g., compost). The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) defines the circular economy as an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by value and design.[13][14]


There are many definitions of the circular economy.[15] In China, CE is promoted as a top-down national political objective, while in other areas such as the European Union, Japan, and the USA it is a tool to design bottom-up environmental and waste management policies. The ultimate goal of promoting CE is the decoupling of environmental pressure from economic growth.[16] A comprehensive definition could be: "Circular Economy is an economic system that targets zero waste and pollution throughout materials lifecycles, from environment extraction to industrial transformation, and final consumers, applying to all involved ecosystems. Upon its lifetime end, materials return to either an industrial process or, in the case of a treated organic residual, safely back to the environment as in a natural regenerating cycle. It operates by creating value at the macro, meso and micro levels and exploits to the fullest the sustainability nested concept. Used energy sources are clean and renewable. Resources use and consumption is efficient. Government agencies and responsible consumers play an active role in ensuring correct system long-term operation."[17]


More generally, circular development is a model of economic, social, and environmental production and consumption that aims to build an autonomous and sustainable society in tune with the issue of environmental resources.[18] The circular economy aims to transform our economy into one that is regenerative. An economy that innovates to reduce waste and the ecological and environmental impact of industries prior to happening rather than waiting to address the consequences of these issues.[19] This is done by designing new processes and solutions for the optimization of resources, decoupling reliance on finite resources.[18]


The circular economy is a framework of three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems.[4] It is based increasingly on renewable energy and materials, and it is accelerated by digital innovation. It is a resilient, distributed, diverse, and inclusive economic model. The circular economy is an economic concept often linked to sustainable development, provision of the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Development Goals) and an extension of a green economy.[citation needed]


Walter R. Stahel and Geneviève Reday-Mulvey in their book "The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy" lay the foundation for the principles of the circular economy by describing how increasing labour may reduce energy intensive activities.


Simple economic models have ignored the economy-environment interrelationships. Allan Kneese in "The Economics of Natural Resources" indicates how resources are not endlessly renewable, and mentions the term circular economy for the first time explicitly in 1988.[22]


From the early 2000s, China integrated the notion into its industrial and environmental policies to make them resource-oriented, production-oriented, waste, use-oriented, and life cycle oriented.[24] The Ellen MacArthur Foundation [25] was instrumental in the diffusion of the concept in Europe and the Americas. The European Union introduced its vision of the circular economy in 2014, a New Circular Economy Action Plan having been launched in 2020 that "show the way to a climate-neutral, competitive economy of empowered consumers".[26]


The original diffusion of the notion benefited from three major events: the explosion of raw material prices between 2000 and 2010, the Chinese control of rare earth materials, and the 2008 economic crisis.[27] Today, the climate emergency and environmental challenges induce companies and individuals into rethinking their production and consumption patterns, the circular economy is framed as one of the answers to these challenges. Key macro-arguments in favour of the circular economy are that it could enable an economic growth that does not add to the burden on natural resources extraction but decouples resource uses from the development of economic welfare for a growing population, reduce foreign dependence on critical materials, lowers CO2 emissions, reduce the production of waste and introduces new modes of production and consumption able to create further value.[3] Corporate arguments in favour of the circular economy are that it could secure the supply of raw materials, reduces the price volatility of inputs and control costs, reduce spills and waste, extends the life cycle of products, serve new segments of customers, and generate long term shareholder value. A key idea behind the circular business models is to create loops throughout to recapture value that would otherwise be lost.[28]


Circular development is directly linked to the circular economy and aims to build a sustainable society based on recyclable and renewable resources, to protect society from waste and to be able to form a model that is no longer considering resources as infinite.[18] This new model of economic development focuses on the production of goods and services taking into account environmental and social costs.[18] Circular development, therefore, supports the circular economy to create new societies in line with new waste management and sustainability objectives that meet the needs of citizens. It is about enabling economies and societies, in general, to become more sustainable.[citation needed]


However, critiques of the circular economy [30] suggest that proponents of the circular economy may overstate the potential benefits of the circular economy. These critiques put forwards that the circular economy has too many definitions to be delimited, making it an umbrella concept that, although exciting and appealing, is hard to understand and assess. Critiques mean that the literature ignores much-established knowledge. In particular, it neglects the thermodynamic principle that one can neither create nor destroy matter. Therefore, a future where waste no longer exists, where material loops are closed, and products are recycled indefinitely is, in any practical sense, impossible. They point out that a lack of inclusion of indigenous discourses from the Global South means that the conversation is less eco-centric than it depicts itself. That there is a lack of clarity as to whether the circular economy is more sustainable than the linear economy, and what its social benefits might be, in particular, due to diffuse contours.[31] Other issues include the increasing risks of cascading failures which are a feature of highly interdependent systems, with potential harms to the general public. When implemented in bad faith, touted "Circular Economy" activities can often be little more than reputation and impression management for public relations purposes by large corporations and other vested interests; constituting a new form of greenwashing. It may thus not be the panacea many had hoped for.[32] 041b061a72


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