New analysis of refuse left outside the city walls of Pompeii suggests that the ancient Romans may have invented recycling. Archaeologists believe that the Romans regularly sorted and reused materials such as broken tiles, amphorae and lumps of mortar and plaster.
The circular economy calls for a radical shift in production and consumption. Continual cycles recover and restore products, components and materials through strategies such as reuse, repair, remanufacture and, ultimately, recycling. It is a systemic approach to managing resources.
A new economic model is emerging that re-evaluates our current approach to production and consumption. It is based on circular mechanisms in which products and materials can be reused, repaired, refurbished, remanufactured and, ultimately, recycled.
From mounting piles of waste to the depletion of natural resources, the current modes of production and consumption are unsustainable. Based on the current linear economic model, products are made, used and discarded.