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Circular Economy

At Ashford we are starting on our journey to explore how we can better work within the principles of a circular economy.

Eliminate, Circulate and Regenerate

A circular economy moves away from our existing linear economic model of take, make, consume and waste and looks at the considered use of the world’s finite resources in an eternal self-fueling cycle. 

Diagram showing the linear, recycling and circular economies. In a linear economy an object is taken, then made, then used, then becomes waste. In a recycling economy an object is taken, then made, then used, then either recycled or becomes waste. In a circular economy an object is taken, then it is sustainably produced (can be reused for further production), then it is sustainably used (can be reused again), then it is recycled.

The ecological lifecycle is familiar, where decomposed biodegradable matter is returned to earth to regenerate the soil and sustain new life. In a circular economy model this is also mirrored in the life of the products and materials we use. Going further than a standard recycling model, it aims for all things to be manufactured with reuse, repair and remanufacture in mind right from the design phase, with recycling the last option at end of life. 

The benefits are economic as well as environmentally restorative: reducing production costs by using recycled materials or repairing single elements reduces user costs, the transition creates new income streams, generates new green skills, jobs and technological processes as well as tackling issues such as pollution, waste, biodiversity loss, depleted soil health and climate change.

Ashford

We are working with project Blueprint via Kent County Council, an EU funded scheme working with a number of partners across Europe and are looking internally how we can improve our own procurement and support new circular resource streams (formerly waste) in the borough.

We will update these pages with projects we and our communities are involved in to inspire you to get involved.  If you have a story with a circular theme about your business or can suggest a way you have adapted your lifestyle do let us know.

Take action

The Blue print website  has a number of resources available for business use including training and networking opportunities; a directory to find collaborative partners and have piloted a number of upcycling projects and schemes, which you can read about on the Project Blueprint website.

Further information

If you are interested in this topic. Please visit the Ellen McArthur Foundation website for more information or take a look at their introductory video below.

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