Throughout the world and especially in Europe and the US, the economic systems in place inherently create waste, too much to be recycled or dealt with in an environmentally-friendly way. As the climate declines and ecological resources are extinguished, the need to shift into a new way of thinking about production and waste becomes more apparent.
In the European Union, efforts are already underway to help smooth the rough transition to a more circular economy. One of the ways this is being done is by enabling consumer choice and giving consumers more options other than the standard way of consuming and producing goods.
How Consumer Choice can Help the Transition to a Circular Economy
The first key piece of creating new and better choices for consumers is to educate them on the importance and significance of a circular economy.
Circular economic theory posits that by keeping all materials in a closed-loop system, and recycling materials that otherwise would have to be disposed of, the environmental impact and cost of production can be reduced. This kind of system also helps reduce the carbon footprint of any manufacturing or production process.
The key is presenting consumers with viable alternatives to typical production processes. By showing how consumers can save money on products that, for example, are made from recycled materials, more people start participating in this circular economy, driving up demand.
Improving Consumer Choice
The problem with almost any environmentally-friendly alternative product is that it almost always carries a heftier price tag. However, with prices rising around the world, reducing production costs by changing to a more circular production model could help lower costs and prices in the future. Initial investments in a circular production system have high up-front costs, but as demand for more sustainable products increases with increased education, the investment will be worth it.