What is the Circular Economy?

Circular economy is a new way of looking at how we use—and ultimately reuse—materials and resources. Our economy is resource-based, meaning it depends on the ability to preserve finite resources in order to succeed.

Historically, products have been produced and consumed through a linear process (make, take, waste), being designed and used for convenience with a limited life and diminishing value over time.

A circular economy goes beyond the linear approach to create a more sustainable, longer-lasting and higher-value system of use. A circular economy approach maximizes resources for years to come.

The circular economy goes far beyond finding a recycling solution at end-of-life. Circularity incorporates better design that consumes less raw material during production, maximizes value during use, and improves products and services that are intended to eliminate wastes.

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

Top left column says Linear Economy. Below is an image if the world with the work Take underneath it with an arrow pointing to images of a toothbrush, lightbulb straw, and water bottle with the word Make underneath it. with arrow pointing to image of a person putting garbage into a trash can with the word Waste underneath. Top right says Circular Economy. Below is an image of the world with the word take above it with a line going right towards a circle with images and words make, reuse, share, repair, recycle in the circle. Bottom of circle has line with arrow going back towards the image of the world then the word replenish is under the image of the world.