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What is the Circular Economy?

Scholle IPN Sustainability in Flexible Packaging iconThe circular economy is a system that focuses on the elimination of waste and the continuation of resource use that is designed to simultaneously benefit businesses, society, and the environment. This concept recognizes that success in the economy depends on focus in all three of these areas. This system follows 3 guiding principles: Design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.*

Designing out waste and pollution entails the minimization of released greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and overall pollution levels. Keeping products and materials in use calls for durability and sustainable efforts in packaging and recyclability of our everyday products. Finally, this process preserves or enhances renewable resources to support a future where we do not rely on fossil fuels as a means of energy.

The Economy

The economy benefits through material cost savings, job creation potential, and more innovative solutions to support the need for new energy sources.

The Environment

The environment will see the most obvious benefits, such as reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, reduction in primary material consumption, and land and soil health. All of this will contribute to the health of individuals and the earth.


Companies will also benefit when they start shifting their operations to be in line with the principles of a circular economy. There will be a new demand for business services, stronger relationships with customers who share the same values, and greater security of supply as recycling will be a part of everyday life.


Individuals will enjoy plenty of health benefits as a result of better environmental conditions, increased disposable income as employment becomes more readily available, and improved living conditions overall.

*The Circular Economy In Detail. (2017). Retrieved July 06, 2020, from https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore/the-circular-economy-in-detail