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Closed-loop Recycling: A Circular Approach to Waste and Recycling

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster

In a world where we often hear about the pressing need to address environmental challenges, there’s a promising concept that’s gaining momentum – a circular approach to waste and recycling. But what exactly does “closing the loop” mean, and how can it impact our environment and daily lives? Let’s break it down in simple terms.


The Linear vs. Circular System: Understanding Closed-loop Recycling 

Traditionally, our approach to products and resources has been linear. Think of it as a “take, make, dispose” model. We extract raw materials (take), manufacture products (make), use them, and then toss them away as waste (dispose). This approach has contributed to the depletion of resources, overflowing landfills, and the changing of the climate that we are seeing today. 

In contrast, a circular or closed-loop approach envisions a system where resources are used more efficiently and waste is minimised. It’s like a continuous loop where products are designed, produced, used, and then brought back into the system through recycling or reusing. This minimises the need for constant extraction of new resources and reduces the burden on our environment.


The three key principles of a circular approach

  1. Design for longevity and reusability: Circular design involves creating products that are built to last and can be easily repaired, upgraded, or repurposed. This contrasts with the planned obsolescence often seen in products today, where items are designed to wear out quickly, encouraging frequent replacements. 
  2. Embrace recycling and repurposing: In a circular system, recycling isn’t an afterthought; it’s a core principle. Materials from used products are collected, sorted, and transformed into new products or materials. This reduces the demand for virgin resources and decreases the amount of waste in landfills. 
  3. Shift from ownership to access: The circular approach also challenges our perception of ownership. Instead of owning everything we use, we might shift towards a model of access or sharing. Imagine subscribing to a service that provides access to clothing, gadgets, or furniture, reducing the need for excessive consumption.


Why you should care and how to get your businesses started?

Embracing a circular closed-loop approach has several benefits:

  • Environmental impact: By reducing the need for new resources and decreasing waste, we can lower pollution, conserve energy, and protect ecosystems in our local community. For more information on this, read our 5 Practical Tips for Sustainable Waste Management blog.
  • Economic growth: Recycling services are generally cheaper than general waste so by moving to waste and recycling collections, you save your business money. As well as helping your businesses become more sustainable and attract new customers. Find out how you can save money further by choosing the correct waste collection partner here.
  • Resilience: Relying less on resource extraction makes us less vulnerable to resource scarcity and price fluctuations. 

Starting your circular journey is a lot easier than it seems, it can be as easy as introducing food waste in your office kitchen. As a business in our local community, we can support this shift by making conscious choices in what we buy, how we dispose of items and advocating for policies that promote circularity. By doing so, we contribute cleaner air for surrounding schools, attract new customers and protect our future. 

To start your circular journey with expert help, get in touch with us today at 020 7641 6180 or email us at commercialwaste@westminster.gov.uk for a free waste audit.

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