Circular Economy: A New Paradigm, Much More than Just the 3Rs

I'm sure that “circular economy” is not an everyday expression for you right now, but that it is near to be. Also sure that you know what I'm talking about when I say “circular economy”, and that's not a new business related to rings or geometry. Or yes, but not literally. Surely the circular economy is much more than just the 3Rs. It means a new paradigm in terms of design, sales and businesses. Let 's see more!

You can read more about the 3Rs, an little aspect of the circular economy, in Reduce, Reuse & Recycle: What does it Mean, How to put it in Motion

The circular economy is a new way to conceive of the economy and it is the alternative to a linear economy system. Have you ever bought a light bulb with a legend on it packaging saying “2000 hours of useful life”, well, that's linear economy. Once that light bulb is out of use you are supposed to throw it away. Buy, use, throw away. What about letting that light bulb be refurbished, or maybe recharged or even transformed into another kind of product? That`s nearer to a circular economy.

The circular economy is easily represented in a graph built by the Ellen McArthur Foundation. A circular economy seeks to rebuild capital, whether this is financial, manufactured, human, social or natural. This ensures enhanced flows of goods and services. The system diagram or Circular Economy Graph illustrates the continuous flow of technical and biological materials through the ‘value circle’.

Our Top Pick Circular Economy Books

Best For Starters - Circular Economy For Dummies



  • Kindle
  • Audiobook
  • Paperback.

In this book you will learn how a circular economy is an economic system designed to save money, eliminate waste, and achieve deep sustainability. Circular Economy For Dummies explains why the old way of doing things (linear economy) is fast going the way of the dinosaurs, and it gets you ready to think circularly. From business processes and material life cycles to circular design in just about every industry, this book is a fascinating glimpse into our sustainable future.

Whether you’re looking to close the resource loop in your business or develop a greener lifestyle for yourself and your family, this book shows you how. Learn how to innovate for a circular economy, how to turn trash into treasure, and how to calculate the (potentially large) amount of money this will save you. And, what's more, you'll feel good doing the right thing and being a part of our sustainable future! The future is circular. Buck business-as-usual and learn how to create a circular economy for all! Buy on Amazon

Most Practical - The Circular Economy: A User's Guide



  • Kindle
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback.

In this book you will be able to see how a Circular Economy seeks to rebuild capital, whether this is financial, manufactured, human, social or natural, and offers opportunities and solutions for all organizations. This book, written by Walter Stahel, who is widely recognised as one of the key people who formulated the concept of the Circular Economy, is the perfect introduction for anyone wanting to quickly get up to speed with this vitally important topic for ensuring sustainable development. It sets out a new framework that refines the concept of a Circular Economy and how it can be applied at industrial levels. This is perfect for the ones that are looking for something straight to the point, perfect for doers! Buy on Amazon

Best For Advanced - Circular Economy and Sustainability: Volume 2: Environmental Engineering



  • Kindle
  • Paperback.

The concept of circular economy is based on strategies, practices, policies, and technologies to achieve principles related to reusing, recycling, redesigning, repurposing, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recovering water, waste materials, and nutrients to preserve natural resources. It provides the necessary conditions to encourage economic and social actors to adopt strategies toward sustainability. However, the increasing complexity of sustainability aspects means that traditional engineering and management and economics alone cannot face the new challenges and reach the appropriate solutions.

You can learn about a key factor in the transition for a better economy in Carbon Footprint: What This Is and What We Can Do about It

Thus, this book highlights the role of engineering and management in building a sustainable society by developing a circular economy that establishes and protects strong social and cultural structures based on cross-disciplinary knowledge and diverse skills. It includes theoretical justification, research studies, and case studies to provide researchers, practitioners, professionals, and policymakers the appropriate context to work together in promoting sustainability and circular economy thinking. If you are already a circular economy practitioner, this book is ideal.

Volume 2, Circular Economy and Sustainability: Environmental Engineering, presents various technological and developmental tools that emphasize the implementation of these principles in practice (micro-level). It demonstrates the necessity to establish a fundamental connection between sustainable engineering and the circular economy. Buy on Amazon

With all this information you can become a circular economy specialist and catalyzer. Did you know that one of the circular economy opportunities is education? Why not be a circular economy spreader?

If you already are into the circular economy you may also be interested about reading about climate change and the climate crisis. Check Climate Crisis Books: What You Must Read to Know What's happening

Agostina Martino

Fashion and textile designer. Working on sustainability. Entrepreneur, creative and university teacher.

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