The Circular Economy

Actionnate’s current theme for the #2020TheGreatReset campaign is The Circular Economy.

The Circular Economy is a purposely restorative and regenerative economy focused on the elimination of unnecessary waste and overconsumption of materials and resources.

Inherently sustainable, The Circular Economy’s “refuse-reduce-reuse-repurpose-recycle” model works to minimize waste by extending the lifecycle of resources and repurposing waste from production.

Take our quiz to test your knowledge of The Circular Economy.

In The Circular Economy, production waste is redirected to other industrial processes or used for regenerative resources for nature. It is defined by three principles: 

– Design out waste and pollution
– Keep materials and products in use
– Regenerate natural systems

This mindful shift to conscious waste disposal, in turn, creates new opportunities for products and job creation while positively impacting the environment.

Credit: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

What are the five R’s and how can you use them to eliminate waste?


The EPA reports the US had a total of 267.8 million tons of waste in 2017. We can help limit waste with Refuse!

How can we Refuse?

  • Refuse to throw out food by composting instead!
  • Refuse promotional freebees and junk mail by placing a “no junk mail” sign on your mailbox.
  • Remember, by Refusing waste, you say yes to sustainable goods and services!


According to the World Resources Institute, fast fashion wastes natural resources and increases harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Minimize waste with Reduce!

How can we Reduce?

  • Reduce purchasing new trendy clothes. Go thrift shopping instead!
  • Reduce packaging waste by purchasing in bulk from local shops and farms.
  • By reducing waste, you increase our planet’s life!


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Let’s fix that imbalance with Reuse!

How can we Reuse?

  • Reuse metal or glass straws and chip away at that daily 500 million plastic straw use!
  • Reuse a thermos when you get coffee instead of that takeout cup. Those cups are lined with plastic and can’t be recycled!
  • Rethink packaging for reusable alternatives!


Actionnate is highlighting a brand that has REPURPOSE at the core of its business. Get Back, Inc. repurposes pieces of machinery, industrial objects and lighting from old mills and factories in the U.S. 

How can we Repurpose?

  • Repurpose your glass bottles into a vase or terrarium
  • Repurpose your food waste into compost
  • Remember, repurposing can be as simple as reusing scrap paper for more scrap paper!


We all know by now to recycle at home but are companies doing their part? Our partners at Just Capital have three strategies to reduce your company’s waste and RECYCLE.

According to Just Capital, the companies below are leading the charge on recycling:

  • Chipotle now recycles or composts waste at 88% of its restaurants, leading to a 25% reduction in average restaurant waste from 2016 to 2018
  • Coca-Cola has “reverse vending machines” that dispense discount tickets to consumers who drop in recyclable plastic bottles
  • H&M is counting on new chemical recycling processes to help them reach sustainability goals

Send us any brands, non-profits, or individuals that support The Circular Economy at

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