During 2023, the idea of creating a circular economy captured the imagination of many more people. The reuse of materials is the basis for a comprehensive approach to rethinking humans’ relationship with stuff and nature. Statista reports that the circular economy will double in size by 2026 to $712 billion a year, delivering new options for low-impact living. There will be a lot to learn, just as during the introduction of consumer technology, and the result will be a more sustainable society. The more intimately each of us becomes with the impact of our choices, the more sophisticated and successful our embrace of reuse to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, water waste, and other environmental damage.

Circular economies will keep materials in use much longer, sometimes perpetually, to reduce the need for extraction. But the transition from our current take-make-waste lifestyles will also include the move to 100% renewable energy. This more service-oriented economy will build reuse and recycling services into products and packaging while embracing regenerative agriculture and equitable opportunity for all.

U.S. recycling rates stayed near 32%. The U.S. ranks 105th globally for recycling, according to Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index. However, widespread private investment and the Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive new National Recycling Goal of 50% by 2030 suggest improvements in processing capabilities are coming soon.

To read the full story, visit https://earth911.com/how-to-recycle/2023-the-circular-economy-in-review/.
Author: Mitch Ratcliffe, Earth911
Photo by Markus Winkler: https://www.pexels.com/photo/circular-economy-a-new-way-of-thinking-about-the-circular-economy-18485567/