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The Circular Economy: Unlocking $4.5 Trillion of Value by 2030


Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

A circular economy is a system where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated. In a circular economy, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting. This is an alternative to the traditional linear economy, where we take resources, make things, consume them and throw them away. This way of living uses up finite raw materials and produces vast quantities of waste. For example, the European Union produces more than 2.5 billion tonnes of waste a year.

A circular economy is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for the economy and society. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save resources, create jobs, and foster innovation. According to a report by Accenture, a circular economy could unlock $4.5 trillion of value by 2030. However, the world is still far from being circular. The Circularity Gap Report estimates that only 8.6% of the global economy is circular as of 2021.

To achieve a circular economy, we need to change the way we design, produce, consume, and dispose of products and materials. We need to adopt four key principles: reduce, reuse, recycle, and regenerate. We need to involve all stakeholders: consumers, businesses, governments, and civil society. We need to collaborate and innovate across sectors and regions. We need to create a circular economy for all.

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