The term ‘circular economy’ has become popular in recent years in discussions about recycling and waste reduction, but what does it actually mean? The charity WRAP defines a circular economy as a system “where we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use and regenerate products at the end of the resources life”. In more simple terms this means using items for as long as possible and recycling or reusing them, rather than just throwing them away.

 

One easy way to contribute to a circular economy is to donate and buy clothes from charity shops. This keeps clothes out of landfill, where approximately 350,000 tonnes are sent every year, as well as helping charitable causes.

 

Recycling everyday items also help to contribute to a circular economy, especially in the case of tin cans. Recycling aluminium can happen time and time again without any loss of quality. As a bonus, creating a can from recycled materials only uses 5% of the energy needed to create one from scratch.

 

There are many other ways to help develop a circular economy, from simple ways like using scrap paper, to the more entrepreneurial like using coffee grounds to heat your home (more details here http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/14/the-innovators-how-your-coffee-can-light-up-your-barbecue-and-boiler).

 

Please leave a comment or Tweet us @ACEnvironment with more ideas about contributing to a circular economy.

 

Sources:

WRAP: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/wrap-and-circular-economy

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/feb/11/retailers-campaign-old-clothes-waste

Recycle Now: https://www.recyclenow.com/facts-figures/how-it-recycled/cans