In our current linear economy, which is a product of the industrial revolution, we take, we make, and then we waste: a new phone comes out so we ditch the old one; our washing machine packs in, so we buy another. Finite resources get consumed and toxic waste is produced—the model isn’t sustainable in the long term.
The circular economy aims to design waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, and a gradual decoupling of economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, the circular model is based on three principles:
We have seen the boom of electric scooters in recent years in capital cities around the world, and the sharing economy has been on the rise, with companies such as Airbnb, Taskrabbit and Getaround at its forefront.
Consumers are shifting to access, not ownership. As people live in more urban areas, often in smaller homes, it’s less of an option for them to hold on to items indefinitely.
Subscription-based models, such as that provided by Dutch organisation Bundles, offer a novel approach to consumption. Bundles leases washing machines to customers for a monthly fee. It monitors the usage, maintains and repairs the machine, and takes it back once it can no longer be used, ensuring products are not wasted and go back into consumption when no longer fit for the individual consumer.
This content was originally published here.