Less than 7.2% of the world’s materials operate in a circular loop according to the Circular Gap Report 2024. This highlights the dominance of the traditional linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model, where vast amounts of resources end up as waste. The circular economy offers a compelling alternative, prioritizing the regeneration of materials and energy to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency. In this blog post, we will explore five remarkable circular economy examples that businesses can learn from to implement more sustainable practices.

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Loop by TerraCycle

Loop is an innovative platform developed by TerraCycle aimed at eliminating packaging waste. This program allows consumers to purchase products in reusable containers that are returned, cleaned, and refilled. It partners with some of the world’s largest brands to offer a wide range of products, from household goods to personal care, all in sustainably designed packaging. This system not only reduces the need for single-use plastics but also demonstrates a scalable model of how businesses can implement returnable packaging solutions.

The Circular Screwdriver: Revolutionizing Consumer Electronics

In response to the mounting crisis of global e-waste and the unsustainable practices in consumer electronics, the Circular Screwdriver emerges as a beacon of circular economy innovation. With global e-waste surpassing 50 million tons yearly, only 20% recycled, conventional methods prove unsustainable. Embracing circularity, the screwdriver’s components are made from recycled materials, designed for easy disassembly and repair. Users can swap parts, 3D print replacements locally, and return damaged components for recycling.

Digital infrastructure connects stakeholders, fostering a closed-loop ecosystem. This approach breaks the linear “take, make, waste” model, promoting sustainability and responsibility in consumer electronics. The Circular Screwdriver case demonstrates the practical application of circular design principles, heralding a new era of innovation for a circular economy.

Indeed Innovation Research Project: Circular Screwdriver

Adidas x Parley: Turning Plastic Waste into Performance Wear

Adidas, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, has created a line of footwear and apparel made from upcycled marine plastic waste. This initiative not only helps reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans but also turns waste into high-performance sportswear. Adidas x Parley demonstrates how brands can leverage their influence for environmental stewardship by transforming environmental challenges into innovative product solutions.

Mycelium Mesh: A Sustainable Solution for River Restoration

The urgent need for river restoration to combat biodiversity loss prompts a reconsideration of traditional methods. The faggoting technique, though effective, is marred by inefficiency and environmental drawbacks, notably the use of non-biodegradable materials like synthetic ropes.

A novel circular economy solution for a new riverbank wall emerges with mycelium-based structures, molded within rPET frames, offering both strength and sustainability. These structures, grown from local bio-waste, provide habitat while preventing erosion, fostering biodiversity without compromising ecosystem health. Stackable and devoid of synthetic components, they represent a scalable and eco-friendly approach adaptable to diverse river environments, promising a circular economy model for sustainable river restoration worldwide.

Renault’s Remanufacturing Program

Renault stands out in the automotive industry for its comprehensive approach to remanufacturing automotive parts. This program extends the life of vehicle components that might otherwise be scrapped, reducing raw material needs and energy consumption associated with producing new parts. Renault’s initiative not only cuts down on waste and emissions but also lowers the cost for consumers, showcasing the mutual benefits of sustainable practices in traditional manufacturing sectors.

These five circular economy examples illustrate the innovative approaches companies are taking to minimize environmental impact while also enhancing their brand value and customer loyalty. By learning from these examples, other businesses can find practical ways to integrate circular principles into their operations.

Interested in transforming your business model to be more sustainable? At INDEED, we specialize in helping companies innovate and thrive in a circular economy. Our experienced team members from INDEED Innovation are here to guide you in creating impactful solutions for your business. Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on the latest insights and innovations from our team.

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Larissa Scherrer de Quadros

Marketing

Larissa, a seasoned marketing professional, excels in crafting tailored strategies for brands. Passionate about innovation, she embraces blockchain and circular economy principles with a motto: Don't wait for opportunities. Create them.

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