The 7 R’s of the Circular Economy

February 15, 2019

Like we mentioned in our last article, Circular Economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value, at all times. The way to do this is to focus on the principals of the model, commonly known as the “7 R’s” of circular economy.


Re-thinking business models and solutions at every level to be mindful of resource use and waste production. The sharing economy is proof that ownership of material is dropping, making for fewer materials used. Businesses like IKEA are already looking into renting business models.

At home: Rethink your consumption and evaluate if you really need that purchase – Refusing to consume what you don’t need to.


Reduce consumption of energy and materials by applying lean design principles and producing products that are made to last.

At home: Reduce your consumption of energy by switching to low-consumption appliances, turning off unused appliances, and reducing your consumption to a “need only” basis. Invest in quality clothing, with ethically sourced materials, that will last you longer.


Reuse products by transferring them to another user. The marketplaces like eBay have already taken hold on consumers’ markets and it’s starting to be used in industries as well.

At home: Sell the products you no longer use to other users and consider purchasing second-hand instead of brand new. Find new uses for products (old bottles can be used as flower vases!).


Repair components and parts so that products can be used longer by the user. With the slow-down of throw-away consumption, consumers will be thinking about purchasing products that last and the “repair” business will get a boost.

At home: Consider repairing small appliances, like toasters, instead of purchasing new ones when the old ones fail. Invest in quality clothing and take pieces to mended if needed.


To achieve circular economy, businesses can look into recovering and refurbishing old products to be sold again or transformed in new products.

At home: Upcycle old products by giving them new life: recover old furniture and give it a new life with new paint, re-use old pieces of clothing by sewing a transforming them into updated models.


Recover embedded energy from non-recyclable waste material where feasible. Non-recyclable waste may at least be converted into energy through waste-to-energy processes such as combustion and gasification.


Recycle materials or resources by disassembling components and separating parts.

At home: Separate and recycle!

Now that you know the 7 R’s, we challenge you into picking one and changing something according to the principle! Let us know what you did by tagging us on social media: @beta_i