Circular Economy

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The circular economy is an economic model that focuses on the coupled economic and environmental cycles of materials and energy within the economy to identify linear processes generating waste and convert them into more sustainable cycle processes involving recycling, reuse, and repair along the value chain. The circular economy model is grounded in the study of feedback loops and non­linear systems. A major outcome of this is the notion of optimizing cyclical processes in the system rather than components, which results in a focus on functions and the services that deliver those functions instead of the discrete products themselves. As a generic notion, it draws from a number of more specific approaches including cradle to grave design and life­cycle assessment. The central idea in the circular economy model is switching from an open loop linear model of “Take, Make, and Dispose” industrial processes and consumption that creates waste and unstainable outcomes, towards trying to identify and close these loops in enabling a more self-­sustaining economy.