The key role of consumers in circular economy

Did you know that all of us play an important role in circular economy? 

Here we’ll explain to you how!

In this article we explained what a circular economy is – a self-regenerating economy that brings benefits to human beings and the environment by reducing waste and limiting the use of other resources. We saw how important and positive it is – on many points.

Today we’ll talk about the active role we play in this crucial process.  

As consumers, we buy several kinds of goods and, consequently, turn into waste producers. Separate collection is a product of that.  Separated materials go different ways to turn into objects, semi-finished goods, secondary raw materials with several industrial outlets. Herein lies the concept of circular economy ‘closedness’. A closed or ‘regenerative’ cycle of materials is implemented to extend their end-of-life and represents its added value – in contrast with linear economy, which involves the placing of ever new products and materials on the market, instead.

With this in mind, virgin plastics have been affected by a downward-price crisis for a few years. However, the extremely high availability of reclaimed materials is crashing with market distortions and lack of knowledge and awareness in this area. Just consider the fact that some municipalities still ask for rubbish bags made of virgin plastic!

If we take into account the several opportunities offered by recycled materials, then this trend doesn’t make any sense.

This shows that there’s still a very long way to go to create a circular economy system. In this complex and improvable mechanism – yet decisive for sustainability and making an essential change – we ourselves as consumers can play a crucial role, even when it comes to change decisions in the current market.

In this context, we need an increased sharing of correct information about recycling to raise greater awareness. A real ‘reuse-wave’ has already begun in the social sphere – especially in Northern Europe. We hope it’ll positively get the whole society involved at international level.

Because it’s with our everyday behaviours, our buying habits and our daily choices that we can make a real difference.