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Recycling and the Circular Economy

Our planet has finite resources. Thus, resources need to be used and preserved so that future generations can enjoy them, too. The circular economy is built on the idea that closed loops allow maximum value to be extracted from resources. Products last longer, and waste from one process can be used as a raw material in another process, which reduces the need for virgin resources, avoids waste, increases resource efficiency and thereby minimizes environmental impacts. The circular economy broadly covers two areas: biological materials and technical materials.

The latest Circularity Gap Report estimates that of the 100 billion tonnes of resources that the world uses every year, only 8.6 percent is cycled back into our economy. Over 90 percent of what we take from the earth to fulfill our needs and wants goes to waste. These figures are taken from the OECD report “Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060,” which also highlights that in only 50 years, global material use has nearly quadrupled—outpacing population growth.

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This article is one of a series on Rivet from Lenzing’s Carved in Blue denim blog. From conversations with the experts behind the mills that make some of the world’s most-wanted denim to the global brands bringing novel denim made with TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal to the market, Carved in Blue shares the stories of those whose roots run deep with denim. Visit www.carvedinblue.tencel.com.