The Circular Economy Diagram

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Have you heard of the Circular Economy Diagram?


It is the Circular Economy concept represented by a “butterfly” diagram. According to Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “This chart shows us a continuous flow of technical and biological materials through their ‘value circle”.

As we can appreciate in the image of the Circular Economy Diagram below, there are two sides, one is the natural cycle where raw materials have a place, and the manufacturing side, where the materials are processed. Both parts are equally important to build a better and sustainable environment.

Circular Economy Diagram. Source Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation

On the left side is represented the natural cycle where the sustainable management and renewal of these biological resources and flows is imperative. While on the right side appears the technical cycle, the sequence in charge of creating circular strategies for reducing, reusing, and recycling.

The diagram pretends to show how to reduce the consumption of raw materials, create waste and gas emissions, and maintain a continuous loop where resources circulate and nature can be regenerated. Circular Economic’s goal is to end with the linear consumption of make-consume-dispose in favour of a circular loop where materials and products are reintroduced in the system again.

It is the moment to rethink and redesign the way we extract, produce, design, manufacture, consume and dispose of. The “made to be made again” should be our way to look forward.

Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation