Closing the Loop

The Circular Economy

Have you ever wondered about those huge holes in the ground we call “landfills”, that keep filling up with SO MUCH ‘STUFF’ every single week?

We have.  A lot.
And so have many others.

Closing the Loop is part of Sustainable Kaipara’s work to transition Kaipara to the “circular economy”.  The circular economy is about moving from the linear economy where we ‘take, make dispose’, to a model which sees resources kept in use for as long as possible.

There are three basic principles in a circular economy:

1. “Design out” waste and pollution

It’s crazy but true – our waste and pollution is largely a result of the way we have designed products and services in the first place!

We can change this! If we view waste as a valuable resource, we can design it out and avoid waste and pollution from the outset.

2. Keep products and materials in use

Let’s design things so that they can be reused, repaired and remanufactured. This is where the ‘Right to Repair’ movement comes in – we should be able to repair phones and appliances in an easy and cost effective way. Packaging should be easily recycled or able to be given back to the manufacturer to reprocess. Maybe we should lease things like light bulbs or washing machines so that the ownership remains with the manufacturer and they take the items back to repair or remanufactured when they are finished with or broken.

3. Regenerate natural systems

It’s time to move beyond protecting papatuanuku! We need to improve and regenerate our precious place. Papatūānuku does not recognise the concept of waste, everything is part of a cycle. A tree falls in the forest – it becomes a home for microbes and worms and feeds for the surrounding forest. We need to return nutrients to the soil and other ecosystems – restore our natural resources.

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation has a wealth of knowledge and learning on the circular economy.
Read more here: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/what-is-the-circular-economy

So, if you are ready to start the transition to the circular economy, get in touch with the Sustainable Kaipara team. We would love to help you get started!

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