The circular economy is an economic and industrial system which aims to keep products, their components and materials in circulation as long as possible within the system, while ensuring the quality of their use. As such, the circular economy contrasts with the linear economy, in which products and materials are disposed of at the end of their economic life.
The circular economy aims to encourage:
- the maintenance, repair and reuse of products;
- products which are designed differently, with the aim of repairing, and fully or partially reusing their components at the end of their life;
- the manufacture of new products from parts, components or downgraded products;
- the recycling of industrial, agricultural or household materials and waste;
- the efficient use of resources during the production and consumption stages.
From a circular economy perspective, various innovative economic models can be envisaged:
- innovative rental systems;
- systems for sharing and collectively using products and equipment;
- systems in which consumers buy the service provided by a product, rather than the product itself.
The transformation of our economy from a linear to a circular model will enable us to save money, achieve a more efficient use of resources, generate jobs and reduce the impact of production and consumption on the environment.
For more information:
- The 21 measures of the federal government for a circular economy "Ensemble faisons tourner l’économie en développant l’économie circulaire en Belgique" (Let's make the economy work by developing the circular economy in Belgium) (f) (n) (2016)
- FPS Economy, "Vers une Belgique pionnière de l’économie circulaire " (Towards a Belgium as pioneer in the circular economy) (fr) (2014)
- RDC Environment, "L’obsolescence programmée : politiques et mesures belges de protection du consommateur" (Planned obsolescence: Belgian policy and measures to protect consumers) (fr) (Mai 2017)
- The European Commission, "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (2015)