“Ideally, you would lease that phone and there would be a clear contract in place where you return the phone at the end of an agreed period. This, in turn, would enable the producer to know that at the end of the month, they will get X hundred thousand phones back, which would then allow them to have a commercially viable scale for remanufacturing operations. And then, new reverse treatment technology comes into play, like for example the automated disassembly machines Apple is developing for their iPhones, with a view to make secondary operations as efficient as primary production,” Stephanie continues. This circular approach can be applied in numerous industries and the opportunities seem almost endless. Mobility sharing concepts, food waste apps, clothes rental services, Buildings As Material Banks and similar initiatives are becoming increasingly popular, and new technology is enabling a range of new sustainable solutions. The comprehensive framework of circular economy draws from different schools of thought, like biomimicry, performance economy, cradle-to-cradle design and industrial ecology. In this restorative economic system, waste is designed out and products, components, parts and materials are circulated at their highest utility and value at all time until they ultimately return to either the biosphere or the technical production cycle. The goal is to maintain as much of the embedded materials, energy and labor as possible. In the strive for a more circular, sustainable model, we all have a part to play, as regulators, businesses and individual consumers. “When you look at the current economic system, even though great strides have been made to increase recycling rates, it’s based on consumption rather than the restorative use of nonrenewable resources. This can’t run in the long term,” Stephanie explains.