Environmental Benefits

The circular economy moves consumption and production beyond the traditional linear model by decoupling economic growth from resource use. Circularity has the ability to improve the value of natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, and eliminate waste.

The circular economy benefits the environment – and by extension, humans and biodiversity – in several ways:

  • Lower greenhouse gases

Local initiatives and projects like container refill/reuse, sharing platforms, repair, and place-based resource recovery are essential in a circular economy and help lower greenhouse gases.


  • Cleaner Water and Water Conservation

Recent research around the world has pointed to the presence of microplastics in groundwater, surface water, and even drinking water. By diverting plastics from the landfill through sharing, reusing and recycling, fewer plastic goods are exposed to the environment, and fewer microplastics are generated. Protecting water bodies from further pollution and improving water quality will help conserve this important resources for generations to come.


  • Lower use of natural resources

By keeping products in use and out of the landfill, we generate less demand for the extraction of new resources from nature. For example, recycling e-waste provides a source for rare earth metals (which are required to make new devices), thereby reducing the need for harmful mining practices.


Learn more about the environmental benefits of the circular economy from Canada’s Circular Innovation Council.

Top has four light green boxes. Bottom has three light green boxes. Each box has image inside with caption underneath. First top image is dark green cloud of gas with G H G and a down arrow. Text below is "Reduction in greenhouse gases". Second top image is of a person outline colored blue placing waste is a light grey garbage bin with a down arrow. Text below is "Reduction in waste". Third top image is of a light blue water drop with a green check mark. Text below is "Clean water". Fourth top image is of two hands spread out colored blue with a light blue water drop in between the two hands. Text is "Water conservation". First bottom image is a white bottle with 3 yellow squares and arrow coming out of the bottle looping down to another arrow then looping left to form part of the recycling triangle. To the bottom left of the bottle there is a green leaf. Text is "Resource recovery. Second bottom image is of a black circle made of broken lines. On the left of the circle is a green tree with brown trunk with O 2 in white on the tree. On the top right of the circle is a light blue water drop. On the bottom right of the circle is a dark grey factory with two smoke stacks with smoke coming out. There is a dollar symbol in the middle of the corcle. Text is "Expanded economic model". Third bottom image is three symbols depicting trees. First symbol is dark grey vertical stick with yellow oval top. Second symbol is dark grey vertical stick with yellow rectangle top. Third symbol is dark grey vertical stick with yellow wavy oval top.