Moving towards a circular economy

The UN estimates that 83 million more people are added to the globe each year. This means 83 million more inhabitants jostling for a share of the world’s resources so that at a minimum, they can be fed, clothed, have a roof over their heads and turn on the light.

Although staggering inequalities exist, more and more of the globe’s citizens are being lifted out of poverty. As they join the swelling ranks of the middle class, this in turn creates demand for consumer products and the adoption of western consumption patterns.

These developments have placed the planet’s resources under strain. It takes one and a half years for nature to replenish and regrow what the planet’s inhabitants consume in one year. We are consuming irresponsibly and in excess.

The status quo cannot continue. While we have made great strides in resource efficiency, this is not enough to halt the damage to our planet. We require a new way of thinking and a new economic model.

Known as Circular Economy, the solution to these challenges goes far beyond merely using resources more efficiently. Instead, we shall reuse, recycle, repair and share. In essence, it means an end to waste and the chance to create a new type of inclusive, sustainable economic growth.