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WHO HOLD THE RESPONSIBILITY IN CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Updated: Sep 24, 2022




So who is in charge of building a circular economy?

Is this the government, the company, the C-level leader, or the consumer?


1. Consumer


Consume Less


Better use of natural resources is a key component of the circular economy, but the reality is that most of us use far too much. The world's need for raw materials significantly increased over the 20th century at a rate that was twice as fast as population growth. But there is inequality even in consumption, and there is a need, a RIGHT for many of us to consume less and many others to consume more.

  • Buy less. Only buy what you need, not what you want.

  • Change consumption behavior.

  • Disrupt the consumption ritual.


Consume Better


A circular economy is not only about consuming less. It's also about consuming better.

So what does this mean to us as consumers?

It means choosing products that can be recycled or that have been manufactured in more environmentally friendly ways.

Consuming "better" might sometimes mean giving up purchases entirely and switching to circular business models like sharing platforms or streaming services. Our way of life won’t even be affected by this behavioral change; we simply enjoy entertainment in a better, more environmentally friendly manner.

Globally, consumer awareness of sustainability is growing, and most customers expect firms to act morally. Therefore, in order to encourage businesses to alter their practices and governments to enact beneficial regulations, consumer pressure plays a critical role.


2. Companies


To enable a circular economy, no one can act alone. What we need is systemic change so that sustainability doesn't only depend on consumer choices.

The main principle of a circular economy is that products should be designed to last, with all components or materials that can be used again, which emphasizes the responsibility of producers from leveraging technological innovation for the existing product line to eco-design for developing new products to shift of the whole business model.


3. Government


Alongside firms, product designers, and manufacturers, government plays a vital role in advancing the circular economy. By establishing legislative agendas and developing a national circularity strategy, the government can stimulate the demand for circular products and influence the way businesses to operate. There must be a major shift to incentivize, punish or require the use of secondary or recycled materials, for example, by placing taxes on products that use only virgin materials or applying Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – which puts significant responsibility on financial/physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products on producers. It could also be the green aid or tax-free service model that facilitates the circular economy, such as reuse, repair, or recycling service operators.


SUMMARIZE


The circular economy will bring a better world for all of us

That’s why we all need to come together — governments, policymakers, civil society, and communities — to facilitate this change.



Reference:

  1. Overshootday.org - https://www.overshootday.org/

  2. How to build a circular economy - https://www.wri.org/insights/how-build-circular-economy

  3. Circular Economy - Sustainable material management, Coursera.




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