Circular economy
Circular economy originated in the late 1960s and is an alternative to the traditional linear economy. The traditional economy requires a constant flow of new resources, while waste materials are simply buried. In contrast, the idea of a closed economic cycle led to the creation of self-sustaining systems where resources remain in demand and are used for as long as possible. The Limits to Growth report for the Club of Rome's project was published in 1972 and made it possible to draw conclusions about the need for systemic change and urge to stop considering nature as an endless source of resources and space for landfill.

In the mid-2000s, there was an impetus to introduce and popularize the ideas of the circular economy. Former yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur made a significant contribution by creating a foundation in her name to promote this approach. Numerous trips on a yacht pushed her to the idea of the exhaustion of those resources that limited her supplies during the voyages, and after that to the realization of the finite resources of the Earth. The Foundation's researches contributed to outlining the economic opportunities for a circular approach, they have combined complementary economic schools into a single system and made this approach well-known.

The linear industrial approach "take-make-dispose resources" leads to the use of finite resources for creating products with a limited life cycle. These products end up in landfills or incinerators. The circular approach is inspired by living systems and proceeds and is built on the fact that resources can return to economic circulation again.

A full-fledged transition to the circular economy is a global process in which global players must participate (the UN, the EU and others). Local players at the level of producers and consumers could adopt only some of the techniques of a circular economy: for example, you could make a choice towards ethically produced raw materials and processed goods, reduce consumption, properly dispose of waste and/or include them in a new consumption chain.
Universal Problem
The current global economy exploits nature, destroying and littering it, and thereby undermines the foundations of its own further development.
Renewable resources and recycling is the basis of economic relations. The cyclical model also seeks to build up economic, natural and social capital.
Target Image
In the future, economic activity such as production, consumption and reuse will lead to the state where nothing will threaten ecological systems of the planet.Created economic cycle will contribute to the well-being of people and nature.
Experiment Framework
The circular economy operates on several levels. Firstly, it includes designing systems where rubbish, waste and pollution are excluded. Secondly, products and materials used should be reused, and thus included in closed life cycles. Thirdly, living systems should be restored. Examples of findings and solutions in this area are quite diverse: from specific design developments such as creating office furniture according to the principles of circular economy to the implementation of comprehensive solutions on the level of cities and regions.
Tools and Technologies
  • Process consumer products (food and tissue) by composting and using anaerobic bacteria able to absorb them
  • Use renewable energy sources
  • Reuse, repair, reassemble or recycle equipment
  • Apply digital technologies to optimise the use of resources
  • Zero waste approach, which includes creation, distribution and sale of goods with a minimum amount of accompanying packaging/ Using waste as a resource
Scaling Plans
The circular economy is actively moving forward in different parts of the world including Europe. In 2020, the European Commission adopted a new action plan to delope circular economy.
Standards and Values
  • Economic stability on all levels from global to local
  • Well-being of man and nature
  • Cooperation, searching for opportunities to use existing assets (material and human ones)

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation is the world's leading analytical and educational center for the circular economy.
  • PACE is a platform where leaders and organizations could find support in their transition to the circular economy.
  • Circle Economy is an advisory and outreach group working to accelerate the urban transition towards the circular economy.
  • Cradle to Cradle is an institute dedicated to innovating circular economy by introducing products that have a positive impact on people and the planet.
  • World Resources Institute is a global organization that unites researchers dedicated to the implementation of ideas to preserve natural resources.
  • Performance economy Biomimicry is a type of economy that provides higher growth and more jobs and has a sustainable development goal aimed at significantly reducing consumption of resources: energy and materials (especially in industrialized countries).
  • AskNature is a project of the Institute of Biomimicry. It presents a digital platform that gives innovators access to knowledge, ideas and people that will allow them to solve important problems of society.
  • Industrial ecology is a field of research focused on industrial metabolism and life cycle instruments
  • Natural capitalism is a book about circular economy
  • Doughnut Economy is an economic model presented in the form of a donut (ring), outlining the social and planetary boundaries of the acceptable level of production and exploitation of the environment
  • Blue Economy is an economic model based on innovative ways of resource management and sustainability
  • Zero Waste movement is an international movement for zero waste (waste-free production)
What you could do in the Kruzhok for joining the approach:
Analyze and change consumption patterns: you could choose recyclable or biodegradable materials, tools that could be used together or reused.
Introduce composting process on the level of Kruzhok.
Organize workshops on maintenance and repair of equipment, so that items could be used longer and deteriorate less.
Analyze and minimize waste if it is possible and / or include it in recycling.
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