If we want an economic system that works with the environment rather than pollute it like our current one does, then the world’s biggest companies need to step up and make a change. Instead of selling products that will quickly become waste after consumption, we need products that are built to last, and that can easily be recycled in a closed loop. We’re still a ways away from the circular economy, as it’s known, but there are companies that are leading by example when it comes to using circular economic principles. Just look at Dell, which is designing modular technology so that old electronics can be more easily recycled into new ones, or Heineken, which has gone beyond recycling glass bottles to using waste heat from a nearby factory, recycling water, and selling spent grains as cattle feed. Yes, many things must change before we reach a point where circular economics is common place, but there is room for hope: A new survey of 300 American executives found that 62 percent of companies are planning to move toward circularity, and nearly twice as many US companies say they are embedding sustainability in strategic decision-making in 2019 when compared to 2018. And if we want this trend to continue, we as consumers must continue to pressure companies into integrating circular economics into their business model.

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