The Urgent Need for Circular Economies

The Urgent Need for Circular Economies

The Urgent Need for Circular Economies by Daniel Schrager, CEO at Geared for GREEN Family of Companies

A few important stats to consider: Linear economies, which follow a 'take, make, dispose' model, have a number of negative environmental impacts that can be improved by connecting in circular economies: 

  • Waste Generation: According to the World Bank, global waste is expected to grow by 70% by 2050 if current trends continue. This massive increase in waste contributes to overflowing landfills, increased pollution, and harmful environmental impacts. 

  • Resource Depletion: We currently consume resources at a rate that equates to 1.7 Earths annually, leading to ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. This unsustainable consumption pattern depletes natural resources faster than they can be replenished. 

  • Carbon Emissions: The production of goods in linear economies contributes to 45% of global emissions (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). High carbon emissions from manufacturing and waste contribute significantly to climate change. 

So, something’s got to give! 

The good news is ... there are many sustainable initiatives underway. One that we focus on at Geared for GREEN is Circular Economy Implementation. The traditional definition of a circular economy, as stated by leading organizations like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, describes systems where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated. 

At Geared for GREEN, we look beyond the traditional linear economy, and focus our efforts on the circular economy with strategies that produce less waste and create more value. Our definition of a circular economy that we apply to help our clients is a model that reduces waste to as close to zero, mostly through recycling, and converts the recyclables we collect into sustainable raw materials. These materials are then (strategically) converted into sustainable commercial products that our clients already use in their everyday operations. This approach helps to maximize our clients' (value). 

In contrast to linear models, circular economies offer substantial benefits: 

  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Circular economy strategies could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 39%. By keeping products and materials in use, we reduce the need for new production, which in turn lowers emissions. 

  • Energy Savings: Recycling processes consume 30-50% less energy than producing new materials. For example, recycling aluminum saves up to 95% of the energy required to produce new aluminum from raw materials. 

  • Resource Conservation: Circular economies promote the efficient use of resources, ensuring that materials are reused and recycled. This reduces the need for new raw materials, conserving natural resources and reducing environmental impact. 

Corporate Responsibility 

At Geared for GREEN, we understand the urgent need for circular economies. Our approach is built around over 250 sustainability solutions we provide to help close the loop and provide comprehensive support through our family of sustainability companies. 

For example, through APEX Sustainable Furnishings, we create sustainable products made from recycled plastic bags and wraps, including furniture, furnishings, fixtures, flooring, and floral items. APEX also produces products from recycled plastic water and soda bottles, such as fabric and foam furniture, drapery, cushions, and furnishings. 

Additionally, Champions for GREEN focuses on products made from recycled plastic bottles, including corporate apparel, uniforms, volunteer gear, performance apparel, concert apparel, graduation caps and gowns, backpacks, FR grade apparel, lanyards, and reusable water bottles. 


A critical component of successful circular economies that must not be overlooked is education and engagement. Leveraging sustainability increases value for our clients, offering economic, environmental, strategic, and social value. Our Campus and Community for GREEN initiative builds circular economies at schools and communities, which is a big part of our education initiatives. 

For corporations looking to pivot towards circular economy models, here are some best practices: 

  • Design for Longevity: Create products that are durable, repairable, and upgradeable. By designing products with a longer lifespan, companies can reduce waste and resource consumption. This involves using high-quality materials, designing for easy repair and upgrades, and encouraging consumers to maintain and care for their products. 

  • Resource Recovery: Implement systems to recover and recycle materials back into new products. Effective resource recovery involves setting up efficient recycling processes, using recyclable materials, and designing products that are easy to disassemble and recycle. This not only conserves resources but also reduces environmental impact and waste management costs. 

  • Service and Use Extension: Design products for maintenance and repair, extending their usability beyond traditional lifecycles. Encouraging product maintenance and offering repair services can significantly extend product life. Companies can provide spare parts, repair guides, and support services to help consumers keep their products in use for longer. 

  • Innovative Recycling Technologies: Employ advanced technologies to recycle materials previously considered non-recyclable. Innovation in recycling technology is crucial for expanding the range of materials that can be effectively recycled. This includes developing new recycling methods, improving sorting and processing technologies, and investing in research and development to find sustainable solutions for difficult-to-recycle materials. 

At Geared for GREEN, our mission is DELIVERING ECONOMIC VALUE BY IMPLEMENTING SUSTAINABLE AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY INITIATIVES. We believe that creating a circular economy goes hand in hand with economic and social value, benefiting the environment while creating jobs, reducing costs, and enhancing community well-being. Our comprehensive approach ensures that sustainability is integrated into every aspect of our operations, from product design to end-of-life management. 

The transition from linear to circular economies is not just an environmental necessity but a strategic advantage for modern businesses. By adopting circular economy practices, companies can significantly contribute to a more sustainable and economically viable future. Circular economies not only reduce environmental impact but also offer economic benefits such as cost savings, new business opportunities, and enhanced brand reputation. 

If your business is looking to make this switch and needs guidance on implementing effective circular economy programs, contact us at We are dedicated to helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals and create positive change together. Let's work together to build a sustainable future and ensure that our resources are preserved for generations to come.