What is a circular economy?
A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose), explains WRAP. It is one in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of its service life.
Image credit: WRAP
Cleaning and the circular economy
Whether for household or for professional applications, the products sold by the detergents industry are essential for the proper maintenance of company and people’s possessions - enabling them to be reused and also making them last longer; this is already a key contribution to durability of goods. But also, these products have a proven positive effect on health by combating the spread of germs and thus, achieve the high living standards and life expectancy that people enjoy.
The industry has been extremely active in the last two decades in promoting the sustainable development agenda, often through key voluntary projects and working with partners such as suppliers, retailers or consumers.
The industry Charter encourages companies to develop manufacturing processes and products that meet high sustainable standards. Campaigns aimed at consumers encourage better dosing, use of low temperature washing and even safe storage – all reducing a products impact on the environment and engaging suppliers and consumers into thinking about the circular economy. This document from A.I.S.E. explains the sector's work on the circular economy.
There is a wealth of further information available on this topic, some examples are:
A.I.S.E., the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, held an information day on the circular economy. The conference material can be found here.
Unilever and the circular economy