“Take, make, dispose.” This is the foundation of the current model of production. This is a linear model that causes an extremely high environmental impact and forces the economy to face an insurmountable roadblock. The reason is that it’s based on the assumption that we have an infinite supply of resources at our disposal. This model depends on the use of ever increasing amounts of energy resources, and on the availability of large quantities of cheap and easily accessible raw materials… But its days are numbered, for a few reasons.
As we all know, the planet’s resources are not infinite. And, as we become more aware of the damage we are creating to the environment, there’s a new model arising, one that is based on the inter-relation between sustainability and the economy. The goal of this new model is that products remain usable for the longest possible time, reducing waste generation to minimum levels.
This new economy is one of the primary initiatives for businesses and institutions devised for the roadmap established by the European Union for the 2020 Europe strategy, which aims to create initiatives that enable smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The circular economy is founded on the preserving the natural capital, optimizing resource use, and optimizing system efficiency. Its main characteristics are:
- -Waste is a resource. Biodegradable materials return to the environment, and non-biodegradable materials must be reused.
- -Reintroduce products into the economic circuit, when it’s no longer a match for the initial needs of the customers.
- -Reuse. Repurpose products or those components that still have potential usefulness in the creation of new products.
- -Recycle: Use waste materials.
- -Repair: Give a second life to broken products.
- -Energy value: Obtain energy from non-recyclable resources.
- -Use: Change the mentality of sales, prioritizing a rental system for goods. Once the product reaches its end-of-life point, it's returned to the manufacturer for disassembly and reuse.
- -Use renewable energy sources: Move to eliminate fossil fuels from the productive process.
- -Ecological impact: In order to take into account the environmental impact of products during their complete lifetime, we must foster systems thinking. Every resource, natural or otherwise, is part of a system. Disregarding this fact hides many of the consequences of the use or any specific product.
- -Industrial ecology: this is an industrial organizational model that optimizes stocks and the flow of materials, energy and resources in a specific geographic area.
From an economic standpoint, these points create business opportunities for companies that respect the environment and are focused on social based innovation, product redesign, and creating alternatives to programmed obsolescence. Companies that are rethinking consumption to adopt a circular model.
Sea2See is founded on the concept of the circular economy. This is a project focused on the notion of generating returns for everybody, in the short, medium and long term, by means of new production models based on technological innovation combined with respect to the environmental.
We know that we are on the right path, not only because we are creating a zero-impact product that is contributing to cleaning the ocean, but also through the establishing awareness programs for fishermen, adding our grain of sand in the mission of the betterment of our planet.
Photo by Victor in Flickr Creative Commons