linear economy

the linear economy is a way of decribing our current ways of doing business – typically a ‘waste’, or throughput system.  We create waste and emissions at every stage, polluting our air, atmosphere, soil and water.

This linear economy relies on using finite resources – metals, minerals, and fossil fuels.  It also relies on land and water – and we often forget that they are finite as well.  In dumping all that waste and pollution, we’re destroying the living systems we depend on, and often harming people as well.  When we discard the product, we waste all those resources – and we waste all the energy, labour and knowledge we invested in the product at every stage in the process.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 60 – Turning off the tap

Episode 60 Turning off the tap

Every 10th episode, Catherine Weetman looks back at recent conversations and round up some of the insights we’ve heard:
The theme for this episode is turning off the tap. What do I mean by that? One of my favourite metaphors for the linear economy – our system of taking materials, making stuff, using it and then throwing it away. We’re pushing lots of resources in at one end of the pipe – but it gushes out at the end, and there are leaks all the way along the pipe with pollution going into the atmosphere, air, water and soil.

And all of that, of course, is undermining our ability to thrive on this planet.

So what can we do? We’ve got to radically rethink business as usual, to turn off that flow of resources and waste. We need to be regenerative instead of destructive and wasteful.

We need a different approach, so we have products with a life of their own, not just serving a single user. We need objects designed for reuse and resale once someone no longer needs them, or objects available in multi user systems with customers sharing or renting when needed.

In this episode, we unpack this to understand how it works, and why it helps to separate the benefits of products and services from their cost to the global commons.

Hiding in plain sight - linear risk

Risks of business as usual

Our research shows that organisations in every sector face a variety of risks associated with ‘business as usual’ (the ‘linear’ economy). We introduce our new guide to ‘linear risks’ – free downloads available

Circular Insights 22

Circular Insights #22

Podcast: Sharing tools and skills | Resource security | Fast fashion’s real price | Circular manufacturing in low income countries | Why IKEA is switching to circular | #buildbackbetter | Circular Design Cards

Catherine Weetman's webinar on the circular economy for Economia Circular Brasil

Webinar for Economia Circular Brasil

The circular economy is the #1 tool for profitable, resilient and sustainable businesses – in this webinar for Economia Circular Brasil, Catherine Weetman explains the benefits for business, and discusses the barriers: why aren’t we all doing this, now?
Part one
• What’s wrong with business as usual?
• A quick introduction to the circular economy
• Circular economy strategies – what can we do, and why is it better?
• Who is already going circular? A range of examples, from different industry sectors
• Q&A on the circular economy and business benefits
Part two
• Why aren’t we doing this already? Barriers and how to overcome them.
• Q&A on barriers

Circular insights #21

Podcast: The Textile Review | Blog: Textile Reuse | Redefining Purpose | Build Back Better | Power and Responsibility | National Geographic | Sustainable Smartphones? |