Circular economy

The circular economy involves lowering of material consumption in order to reduce environmental pressures and dependency. The diagram below (circularity ladder or R-ladder) contains a wide range of hierarchically arranged options in the process towards a circular economy. These are steps that can be taken at the beginning or even before the lifecycle of a product, or more towards the end. Examples include redesigning of products and carpooling, but also re-use and recycling may extend the lifecycle of products and resources, in turn reducing material consumption. Another option is to extract energy from materials by means of incineration; this results in loss of material and CO2 emissions. Waste disposal aside, this is the least circular way of handling materials.

2020IG06 ladderCircular economy / R-ladder R3 Reuse R4 Repair R8 Recycle R6 Remanufacture R5 Refurbish R7 Repurpose R9 Recover energy Landfill In a circular economy this is avoided Use R2 Reduce R1 Rethink R0 Refuse bron: PBL, 2018Circular economy / R-ladder R3 ReuseR4 RepairR8 RecycleR6 RemanufactureR5 RefurbishR7 RepurposeR9 RecoverenergyLandfillIn a circular economythis is avoidedUseR2 ReduceR1 RethinkR0 RefuseSource: PBL, 2018

Back to article