By Ben Schiller

We simply can’t solve the fundamental issues of the global economy without rethinking the entire underpinnings of our “take-make-dispose” model of consumption.

On average, developed-world citizens consume 1,764 pounds of food and drink annually, 265 pounds of packaging, and 44 pounds of new clothing and shoes–80% of which finds its way to incinerators, landfill, or wastewater. It “comes to a dead end,” as a new report puts it.

This is the “take-make-dispose” model of consumption. But there is an alternative: a circular economy, where instead of mining millions of tons of new inputs, you recover, reuse, and reconstitute as much as possible. Why? To reduce pressure on the environment, obviously; but also to reduce pressure on companies, which face growing resource constraints.

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