What is the circular economy and why does it matter?

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World Economic Forum
  • In a circular economy, products can be used again and again.
  • This reduces our use of precious raw materials and cuts CO2 emissions.
  • Circular economy initiatives include the Circulars Accelerator, an innovation programme run in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

The way we live now is using 60% more resources than the Earth can provide – and creating too much waste, according to experts.

Switching to a circular economy is widely considered to be the way forward.

What is the circular economy?

In a circular economy, things are made and consumed in a way that minimizes our use of the world’s resources, cuts waste and reduces carbon emissions. Products are kept in use for as long as possible, through repairing, recycling and redesign – so they can be used again and again.

At the end of a product’s life, the materials used to make it are kept in the economy and reused wherever possible, the European Parliament explains.

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