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Circular economy

What is a circular economy?

This is a tricky question. To be honest, we were not very familiar with the concept ourselves. It seemed to be a noble goal, from a social, economic and ecological point of view, but it seemed vague and difficult to define. That's why we decided to do our research and compile the essential information and definitions for you. We hope you find this article useful and informative! The concept of circular economy refers to an economic and industrial system whose objective is to keep products, components and materials in circulation for as long as possible, while guaranteeing quality.

The notions of green economy, economy of use, economy of functionality, economy of performance and industrial ecology are part of the circular economy.

This promotes:

  • The maintenance, repair and reuse of products;

  • A design adapted to a total or partial repair or reuse;

  • The production of new products from parts, components or downgraded products;

  • The recycling of industrial, agricultural or household materials and waste;

  • Efficient use of resources, both in production and consumption.

Circular economy is the opposite of linear economy, which gets rid of products and materials at the end of their economic life.

Circular economy works in a loop, thus eliminating the notion of "waste". It produces goods and services while greatly limiting the consumption and waste of raw materials and non-renewable energy sources.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (which promotes circular economy), it is a restorative industrial economy in which there are two types of material flows: biological nutrients, designed to re-enter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, designed to be recycled without entering the biosphere.

From a circular economy perspective, several innovative business models can be considered:

  • Innovative rental systems;

  • Systems for sharing and collective use of products and equipment;

  • A system where the customer buys the service provided by a product rather than the product itself.

Transforming our linear economy into a circular economy allows us to save money, implement a more efficient use of resources, generate jobs and reduce the impact of our production and consumption on the environment.

Circular economy in Belgium

Circular economy is winning ground in Belgium. It now accounts for 262,000 jobs in the country and is represented in more and more sectors.

Circular economy companies can be found in many sectors such as real estate, resource and waste management, logistics and trade.

Another example is the Regional Circular Economy Program Be Circular, aimed at encouraging circular economy initiatives in Brussels. For more information, click here.

What about BeCook?

BeCook is undoubtedly in favor of constant improvements in the circular economy and advises their clients so that they can take the right decisions from the start.

  • Sharing infrastructure and fixed costs;

  • Variable charges are in proportion to the use of the infrastructures;

  • Sharing of raw material stocks and logistics;

  • Sharing of packaging;

  • Less storage, less space required;

  • Better control of food losses via "Cloud Kitchen" for other local caterers;

  • Minimization of waste (food and packaging);

  • Better choice of materials: preferred glass/cardboard;

  • ...

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