The circular economy is a sustainable model of production that focuses on the repair and reuse of materials to extend the life of products. It aims to avoid the new production of products and to tackle environmental challenges.

The circular economy reduces the amount of waste through sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing and recycling materials.

By reducing waste, supporting the ecosystem, protecting the environment and tackling biodiversity loss, a circular economy is a systematic, sustainable solution to overcome global challenges.

What are the principles of a circular economy?

There are three main principles that aim to be achieved through a circular economy. They are to keep products and materials in use, design out waste and pollution and regenerate natural systems.

By keeping products and materials in circulation for as long as possible, we cut down on the waste generated and disposed of at landfill sites.

Currently, the world operates in a take-make-waste cycle where we take the Earth’s raw materials to create a product that ultimately ends up as waste.

By operating a circular economy, where products are used, reused and then remanufactured, we can eliminate waste and pollution.

A circular economy encourages the shift from extraction to regeneration, allowing nature to rebuild its soils and return nutritional materials to the earth.

Regeneration can be achieved through the food industry by cutting down on fertilisers, pesticides, fossil fuels and freshwater which are huge contributing factors to climate change and ecosystem damage.

The role of the circular economy

What role does the circular economy play in sustainability?

A circular economy supports an increasingly sustainable production model by keeping raw materials in use for longer and within the production cycle.

This model promotes a circularity movement where no product is designed or manufactured as a single-use item.

Products produced through a circular economy should be passed through the supply chain at the end of their life rather than disposed of at landfill.

By circulating resources multiple times, a circular economy reduces waste and greenhouse gases, protects the environment, and decreases the importation of resources.


Sustainable development creates a wealth of opportunities for creative entrepreneurs. The circular economy theory is a business plan that supports and protects the planet. 

There are considerable financial benefits to be gained from a circular economy through the reduction of packaging, and waste and lowered CO2 emissions for your business.

Every business has a duty to identify how it can become increasingly sustainable and help to address the sustainability issues faced by the world.

Moreover, consumers are aware of brands that adhere to sustainability solutions and are prepared to pay more for items that have been innovatively manufactured using recyclable and sustainable techniques.

What are the benefits of a circular economy?

Adopting a circular economy could deliver benefits such as eliminating waste, lower carbon emissions, earth reservation, and job creation.

By developing sustainable products, a circular economy can regenerate natural systems, combat climate change and reduce our reliance on imported raw materials. 

A circular economy is a sustainable model that reforms, reduces, reuses and recycles products creating cleaner production, greener produce, and minimal waste.

The implementation of a circular economy would also create jobs within the recycling, repair, and rental industries.

According to a report by Green Alliance, over 450,000 jobs could be created through the circular economy transition in an attempt to end needless waste. The report estimates that 300,00 of those jobs could be created within the remanufacturing industry by 2035.

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Linear vs Circular Economy

A circular economy focuses on the conservation of a product whereas a linear model creates products from raw materials that are then disposed of after use.

Our economy currently revolves around the take-make-waste plan which sees raw materials transformed into products destined for landfill.

The linear and circular systems differ as they project value in different ways. Using a linear system value is determined by producing and selling as many products as possible.

Whereas a circular economy aims to reduce, reuse and recycle existing products. In a circular economy, value is determined by the preservation and conservation of an item.

Circular economy examples

In a circular economy, manufacturers design products that can be reused, repaired and recycled. Products are created with durability in mind to preserve the item's value.

Items manufactured using a circular model generate as little waste as possible and feature eco-friendly materials.

Brands worldwide are striving to become a circular economy by recycling, remanufacturing and becoming increasingly aware of their choice's impact on the planet.

IKEA Example

IKEA has pledged to become 100 per cent circular by 2030 by designing all its products to have circular capabilities from the beginning, using only renewable or recycled materials, and to developing circular capabilities in their supply chain.

Burger King example

Burger King has also announced that by 2025, 100 per cent of its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources with the elimination of single-use plastics. In 2018, the brand launched its first range of reusable and returnable packaging for drinks, burgers and sides to reduce waste.

Adidas example

In 2021, Adidas revealed that by 2050, they plan to achieve climate neutrality by following their roadmap to help end plastic waste. The brand believes ‘the end of one thing equates to the beginning of the next, and that their products’ lives can be extended by remaking them into new products’.

Nike example

Adidas competitors Nike have launched Nike Refurbished which is ‘a circular consumer offering that tidies up used footwear’. Through this scheme, customers can return shoes to Nike that are then ‘tidied up’ and returned to them. Nike Refurbished extends the lifespan of footwear that would otherwise be thrown away.

What are the future prospects of a circular economy?

Above all, wasting the earth's resources is expensive and unsustainable. Circular theories allow us to future-proof our economy for future generations and offer effective solutions.

Smart recycling is a great way to ‘make do and mend’ products that already exist within the supply chain. This includes upcycling furniture and purchasing second-hand mobile phones in addition to wider-scale operations such as recycling plastic into pellets.

A circular economy aims to drive economic growth sustainably by maximising value rather than maximising sales through mass production.

The future of the planet is dependent on adopting a circular economy. With rising concerns surrounding the economic and environmental pressure on the world, a circular economy can introduce environmental boundaries and renewable resources. 

Why do we need a circular economy?

A circular economy could be key in limiting the destruction faced by climate change, rising pollution levels and greenhouse gases.

Implementing a circular economy where goods and materials maintain and retain their value could minimize environmental harm, promote economic opportunities, and promote shifts to renewable energy.

For the sustainable development of a healthy planet, a circular economy can offer significant benefits to our ecosystem by tackling major issues such as global warming, biodiversity loss and an unsustainable energy supply.

How we can help

At CHG-MERIDIAN, we refurbish used equipment to make an active contribution to the conservation of natural resources.

Through extensive refurbishment, we have been able to increase the life of technology equipment and prepare it for sustainable reuse.

Over 96 per cent of our end-of-life products are refurbished in line with circular economy principles.

Any equipment that cannot be reused is sustainably returned to our certified recycling partners. We have a global network of partners who recondition our equipment to the highest standards.

To discover more about your sustainability strategy and sustainable solutions get in touch with us today!


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