2024 Women in Resources and Manufacturing Awards - Nominations are open now! Close April 30.

What is the Circular Economy?​

It's Smarter to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

The circular economy offers a win-win scenario by aligning economic prosperity with environmental sustainability and social well-being. It provides opportunities for businesses to thrive, promotes resource efficiency, reduces environmental impact, and contributes to a more resilient and equitable society.

Why is a Circular Economy worthwhile?​

one

Sustainability

The circular economy is a sustainable alternative to the traditional linear “take-make-waste” model. It aims to decouple economic growth from resource consumption and environmental degradation. By reducing waste, promoting resource efficiency, and minimising the extraction of new resources, the circular economy helps preserve natural ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations.

two

Resource Conservation

The circular economy focuses on maximising the value extracted from resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible. It encourages practices such as reuse, repair, and recycling, which minimise the need for raw material extraction. By conserving resources, the circular economy helps address resource scarcity and reduces the environmental impacts associated with extraction and processing.

three

Economic Benefits

The circular economy offers economic advantages for businesses and society. It promotes cost savings through improved resource efficiency, reduced waste disposal costs, and opportunities for new revenue streams. Adopting circular practices can drive innovation, stimulate job creation, and enhance the competitiveness of industries in a changing economic landscape.

four

Climate Change Mitigation

The circular economy plays a role in mitigating climate change. By reducing energy consumption, minimising greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction and manufacturing, and diverting waste from landfills, it helps to lower the carbon footprint. The circular economy contributes to the transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy.

five

Resilience and Risk Reduction

The circular economy enhances resilience by reducing dependency on finite resources and minimizing exposure to supply chain disruptions. By closing material loops and embracing circular practices, businesses and communities become more self-sufficient and less vulnerable to resource scarcity, price volatility, and geopolitical risks.

six

Innovation and Job Creation

Embracing the circular economy drives innovation and creates new business opportunities. It encourages the development of sustainable technologies, product design strategies, and business models that are compatible with circular principles. This innovation and diversification can lead to job creation and economic growth in sectors related to recycling, remanufacturing, repair, and renewable energy.

seven

Improved Well-being and Social Equity

The circular economy promotes a shift towards sustainable and equitable consumption patterns. It encourages sharing, collaborative consumption, and access over ownership, which can reduce social inequalities and enhance community well-being. By addressing waste management issues, the circular economy also contributes to improving public health and reducing environmental pollution.

Overall, the circular economy offers a pathway towards a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future. It aligns economic prosperity with environmental stewardship and social wellbeing, making it a worthwhile and essential concept for addressing the challenges of resource depletion, waste generation, and climate change.

What's the difference between a Circular Economy and a Regenerative Economy?

The circular economy and regenerative economy are two distinct approaches to promoting sustainability, but they can co-exist and many Tasmanian businesses do a bit of both and are always implementing more initiatives!

Circular Economy

Regenerative Economy

  • The circular economy focuses on optimising resource use and minimising waste by keeping products and materials in circulation for as long as possible. It emphasises closed-loop systems where waste is seen as a valuable resource.  While the circular economy aims to reduce negative impacts on the environment, its primary focus is on resource efficiency within existing systems.

  • On the other hand, the regenerative economy takes a more holistic and transformative approach. It seeks to restore and enhance natural systems, going beyond waste reduction. The regenerative economy aims to create economic activities that actively contribute to ecological regeneration, biodiversity, and social well-being.

While the circular economy is concerned with the present and minimising waste within existing systems, the regenerative economy takes a longer-term perspective, aiming to transform fundamental relationships between humans and the environment.

case study

Mitchell Plastic Welding

Family-owned, Mitchell Plastic Welding is building a recycling facility capable of recycling 7200 tonnes of material and will extend this further for items such as silage wrap from agriculture.

This has big benefits for Tasmania and ensures we have the capability right here in Tassie to manufacture our own hard plastic needs (think wheelie bins) without the carbon footprint, cost and wait to get it from overseas.

Read more in-depth articles

How long could we live without mining?

It's easy to forget all the things we take for granted in every day life, but the truth is without mining we'd be struggling to get through the day.

Tassie’s Diverse West Coast & the Tarkine

Learn about the multi-use of the diverse landscape on the West Coast and Tarkine area with our interactive digital map.

Mining and The Tarkine : The Facts

There are many things said about the Tarkine area. Many parts of this area evoke strong emotion, but the conversation must stay based on evidence.

Become a TMEC member today

Never Stop Learning

Shotfirer

Mineral Resources

Extracting critical minerals for a better future. Ethically and sustainably.

6_1-Latest-News-Mining-Innovation

Advanced Manufacturing

Transformative thinking to lead the world to a better future.

Strathgordon Hydroelectic Dam In South West Tasmania

Renewable Energy

Tasmania is among the top 5 places in the world for renewable energy.