Circular economy is inspired by the cyclical model of nature that converts waste into resources, leading to the reduction, reuse and recycling of the elements.
This involves that the producers of goods and services think about the whole life cycle of the products so they can have more lives. Many companies and organizations from different economic sectors design their products thinking about what life will these products have in the future. Do you want to know some of these examples of circular economy? We have compiled some of them:
- Old tires to make new roads: Redisa is a South African company that collects and recycles tires in collaboration with the public administration. After processing, the resulting material is used to create new roads, such as fuel for cement kilns or to make rubber mats.
- Garbage for furnishing stores: Creating construction material and furniture for shops by recycling and redesigning garbage like plastic or electronic waste is the business of Miniwiz, a Taiwanese company that has already furnished several Nike stores worldwide.
- Heavy recyclables to help the environment: Umicore is a Belgian company with presence in twelve countries dedicated to recycling products such as batteries, refinery waste or metal industries to separate sensitive and harmful elements for the environment such as cobalt, nickel, tungsten or antimony.
- Sustainable home materials: The Dutch architecture studio Sustainer Homes manufactures mobile homes from recycled materials, saving up to 90% CO₂ emissions thanks to the incorporation of solar panels and the use of more sustainable elements than traditional steel and concrete.
- Personal cars rental: Renting your own car when you're not using it is now possible thanks to Drivy. This company puts in touch people who are looking for a car for certain days and owners who are not going to use their car during that period. It is powered by the insurance company Allianz and is already present in Germany, Holland, France and Spain.
- lothing and accessories with recycled plastic: Ecoalf is a Spanish retail company that makes clothes and accessories with recycled plastic. Since its creation in 2012 until today it has expanded all over the world and is present in the most important markets of the sector.
- Private capital for the circular economy: Circularity Capital is a private equity firm that finances exclusively emerging projects based on circular economy following environmental, social and governance criteria.
Circular economy awards
The Circulars awards recognize and encourage all these types of initiatives. They are supported by the World Economic Forum and the Young Global Leaders Forum. The 2017 winners, which you can check here, were chosen at the recent meeting in Davos.
For its part, the European Commission holds the EMAS Awards (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) every year since 2005. This year's edition will be devoted to those circular economy projects developed within the borders of the European Union.