Circular economy is a model rethinking production and consumption; away from a linear "take, make, waste" approach, to a circular approach involving the “reuse, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling” of materials and products as long as possible.
Traditionally, we, globally, have relied on a linear approach - taking a natural resource and turning it into a product which is ultimately destined to become waste because of the way it has been designed and made.
By contrast, a circular economy approach employs a closed-loop system, designing out waste and pollution at the manufacture stage. The circular economy aims to keep products, materials, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources and minimising waste produced.
A circular economy approach is based on three principles:
1. Designing out waste and pollution
2. Keeping products and materials in use
3. Regenerating natural systems.
In the Pacific, the aim for circular economy for waste management is to establish an enabling environment (legislation and infrastructure) to provide for a circular “reuse, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling” approach during import and consumption of items.
By employing a closed-loop system, products and materials imported are able to be used again and again, thereby reducing pressure on landfills and the environment.