The world’s resources are limited but we are living as if they weren’t. Global demand for resources is increasing every year. The average European consumes 16 tonnes of materials and produces 6 tonnes of waste every year. Of that waste 57% gets landfilled or burnt, damaging human health and the environment and wasting resources that could still be of use.
Moving to a more circular economy could help generate €600 billion for businesses. More than 2 million jobs could be created in Europe through better design of our products, through more re-use and greater prevention of waste.
Instead of the make – use – throw-away model which began with the Industrial Revolution, we can move to a circular economy where materials are continuously being re-used and recycled. Resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the
maximum value from them, then recovering and reusing products and materials.
To do this, we have to design our products so that they last longer, and become more repairable, reusable and recyclable. Increasing how much we reuse and recycle will reduce the amount of material we send to landfill or incineration and move us towards a zero-waste society.