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A circular economy is one in which we reuse our resources and re-inject them into the economy instead of disposing of them, resulting in a circular rather than a linear pattern of resource and material consumption.
Systematic and structural change is a significant barrier preventing the global society from implementing a circular economy. A lot of work will need to be put in by people, companies, and governments to develop a real circular economy.
However, there are pros and cons of a circular economy, and in this article, we will discuss some of these pros and cons.
Pros of Circular Economy
We must ensure we know about a circular economy’s pros and cons. Scientists have been cautioning us about the risks of excessive resource usage for many years.
1. Motivation to Reuse Nonrenewable Resources
We continue to use nonrenewable resources, such as oil and metal ores, as though there was a limitless supply of them now more than ever. But think about it, is there an infinite supply of metal and oil? No there isn’t! Hence, the method of overusing cannot be continued. You must start reusing materials and repairing old items instead of tossing them away. We will consume fewer nonrenewable resources as a result of this.
Zero waste, or the idea that nothing is wasted, is the hallmark of a circular economy. In essence, it’s a wise use of the resources we already have.
2. Zero Waste
Reusing resources and goods to achieve zero waste is a cornerstone of a circular economy. Apart from zero waste, imagine all the good you would be doing for someone. “One man’s waste is another man’s treasure” Something that is not useful to you anymore can come in useful to someone else! In the end, everyone benefits from this.
Zero waste entails reducing landfills, the amount of rubbish in our seas, and ocean-bound plastics. It also implies that we can reuse resources rather than dig for them. Imagine all the good you could do by giving someone something they need and attaining zero waste simultaneously.
The circular economy model promotes development, in contrast to many environmental models that advocate a decrease to attain zero waste. This makes it the ideal objective for businesses, people, and governments while meeting crucial environmental objectives.
3. Low Carbon Emissions
The production and disposal of materials, together with other aspects of materials management, are responsible for up to two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. That means that all the waste that is produced from the disposal of materials contributes to global warming.
Since the whole paradigm of the circular economy is based on the sustainable management of resources, it will aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. A circular economy encourages the reuse of goods and materials, promotes the use of renewable resources, and upholds environmental practices, and other ways to handle materials more effectively. Someone else uses your material waste and makes the best out of something that could have just harmed the earth.
Cons of Circular Economy
1. A Hit To Economy
Naturally, increasing the lifespan of appliances will reduce the demand for replacement items. If the potential offered by a circular economy is not more than this, it can be viewed as a drawback. What good would it serve to hurt the very economy we are attempting to safeguard? The dilemma of the pros and cons of circular economy is real.
The decrease in the demand for new items and the potential impossibility of converting old products would surely affect innovation as well. Businesses will have to be more innovative if they want to produce products that last a long time.
Could the environmental benefits of the circular economy be outweighed if increased efficiency cannot be realized through innovation? The carbon and energy savings of not producing a new appliance to replace the old one would be the focus of the alternative argument. In short, if we keep on operating in a circular economy, businesses are going to take a hit and we cannot afford that to happen. The businesses will surely get a hit and so will the economy.
2. Quality is Compromised
We studied different pros and cons of the circular economy and here is another con that shows us how much quality is compromised when the circular economy is practiced.
Some materials have a finite lifespan. Plastic that has been recycled too frequently may become brittle. Parts will also experience more stress if they are accessed often. Whatever the advantages of the circular economy, it is important to make sure that quality is not compromised and it is inevitable that quality will be compromised if one material has been used over a long period.
The circular economy teaches us to not waste materials that are non-renewable so that they can be used again by the same user or someone else. In this article, we learned about the different pros and cons of the circular economy.
With the existing economic system, we take resources from the world at an ever-increasing rate to create goods that we primarily discard after using them. That appears effective from the standpoint of a person or organization. Zooming out to a global scale reveals how unsustainable this strategy is, though. We require an economic system that functions within our planetary boundaries for those same people and organizations to prosper. A circular economy is resilient and waste-free from the start.
By looking at the pros and cons, you need to decide if a circular economy seems good for the environment and you.