Circular Economy

Prairie Circular Economy aims to educate and consult to encourage a circular economy in the prairie provinces. So, what is a circular economy?


To start with, let’s start with what is sustainability. Brundtland defined sustainability in 1987 as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission, 1987). That is a good place to start, but there have been insights and developments since then.

At Prairie Circular Economy, we look at sustainability as not just being about humans interests. We look to include the environment, economy, and social interests when we discuss sustainability.

Sustainability – social, economic, and environmental issues working together

From linear to circular

Here at Prairie Circular Economy, we can help individuals/farmers/businesses and organizations become more circular. In your production and practices. Ultimately, wee hope to reduce waste and be a leader in circularity in the Prairie provinces.

This image from Zero Waste Scotland illustrates that with recycling, there is still waste. Meaning, with a circular economy, the materials are continually reused – in a never ending circle.

The circular economy is based on eliminating waste, circulating products and materials, and regenerating nature. Hence, we need good design at the development process to be circular. Materials are reused and no new materials are needed. Indeed, this is different than recycling, as the design to reuse the materials is at the beginning of product development. With a circular reuse of materials there is no waste.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is at the forefront of circular economy with the development of “butterfly design” to illustrate the circular economy.

Sustainability and a Circular Economy are different than recycling. Recycling is important “end of the pipe” reuse strategy. Sustainability and Circular Economy look at the “beginning of the pipe.”

Moving from a “cradle to grave” idea to a “cradle to cradle” idea and practice. The idea of “cradle to cradle” is a paradigm shift looking at how everything is a resource for something else.

Once we start looking at and implementing a circular economy, we shift our perspectives and discover that circles are everywhere.


© 2023 Prairie Circular Economy