The linear or traditional economy model based on “produce, use and dispose” is gradually losing ground in the face of the new paradigm of circular economy based on the principle of “reduce, reuse and recycle.” There are already clear signs that the current linear economic model may be ending and that its place will be taken by circular economy.
The current economic system – or linear model – is completely different from the life cycle in nature. Besides, it is in conflict with the model of sustainable development, oriented to the long term. In nature, there is neither garbage nor garbage dumps: all the elements fulfill a role continuously and are reused for use in different stages.
Circular economy creates a continuous positive development cycle that preserves and enhances natural capital, optimizes resource yields, and minimizes system risks through the management of renewable flows. Scarcity of resources is one of the main reasons why industries have begun to introduce circular business models. Nowadays, we are in the presence of a ruthless fight for raw materials around the world. A struggle in which access to rare metals and minerals (key to the production of high-tech articles) is reaching critical levels.
Linear business models often waste many resources; they do not incorporate the recycling or reuse of components and materials as natural parts of the production process. We observe it in the case of the manufacture of electronic products. Currently, companies introduce new products in shorter intervals, and the products have shorter life cycles. This phenomenon has led to a fundamentally disposable culture and accumulation of electronic waste, causing severe consequences on the environment and on the health of the population.
The new approach to circular economy is, in addition to a sustainable way of directing the productive sector, an attractive business model that can offer real competitive advantages.
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Ellen McArthur Foundation (2011, 28 de agosto), Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy. Recuperado de https://www.youtube.com/watch?