What Is the Circular Economy of Plastic

A circular economy is a system that aims to eliminate waste by reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling resources. It’s a closed-loop system that minimizes the amount of waste and our collective carbon footprint. To truly be successful, it has to be globally achievable by every person, business, and municipality throughout the value chain – from consumer to small business to large corporation.

In the circular economy of plastic, products first start as raw energy and materials. They’re then produced, distributed, and used, at which point they are thrown away. At that stage, if no circular systems were in place, the garbage would become plastic waste, much of which ends up in landfills or becomes hazardous to marine life in our oceans. But with a circular economy, many types of plastic – even those thought of as single use, like water bottles, straws, and plastic bags – can be fully recycled and brought back to the energy and materials stage, remanufactured or refurbished and brought back to the production stage, or reused at the use stage.

The idea of circular plastic is an intentional “economy by design,” based on three environmentally friendly principles meant to reduce plastic pollution. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation outlines the three principles as:

  1. Design out waste and pollution
  2. Keep products and materials in use
  3. Regenerate natural systems

The first speaks to an intentional economic design that addresses recycling and reuse at the start, with manufacturers and corporations creating closed-loop systems for their materials to be recycled, remanufactured, and reused at every step in the supply chain.

The second, an emphasis on keeping products and materials in use, calls on the global plastics industry to use sustainable materials that will last longer, such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which can be safely reused and is easy to recycle. It also calls on consumers to consciously use and reuse those products and materials.

And finally, regenerate natural systems, which asks for manufacturers to use natural resources and renewable energy sources instead of relying on fossil fuels.


We’ve made Braven a core part of the circular economy of plastic with patented pyrolysis technology that converts mixed waste plastics into raw material for the production of new plastic and for use as a replacement to traditional fuel products. Our eco-friendly approach diminishes greenhouse gas emissions and allows businesses and municipalities to sustainably break down and locally recycle or reuse their own waste plastics.

There’s a massive amount of plastic waste on our planet, but plastic itself isn’t the problem. With a circular economy and our Braven technology, we can recycle and transform plastics into other products that are usable right at the point of plastic production.

Let’s give waste plastics a valuable second life.