POSTED: Mar 15, 2023
…And how does it work?

Are you ready to learn about the circular economy? Great! Before we jump into the nitty-gritty details, here’s a question: what do you do with your old iPhone when you upgrade to the latest model? Do you toss it in the trash, donate it to a friend, or maybe sell it online? If you're like most people, you probably don't even think about it. In 2019, companies sold a whopping 1.52 billion smartphones all over the world. Crazy, right? And get this: almost half of the Americans who use smartphones said they upgraded their phones before they even stopped working. And here's the kicker: almost every one of those old phones ends up in landfills.


That hurts.

But what if we told you that there's a better way? That's right, by choosing to purchase refurbished Apple products, like the amazing refurbished iPhone 13, you're not only saving money, but you're also contributing to a more sustainable future. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of the circular economy and how it can help us reduce waste and promote a more sustainable future. So, let's get started!

Key Elements of the Circular Economy

circular economy

Now that we have a basic understanding of what the circular economy is, let's delve deeper into its key elements. At its core, the circular economy is a system that aims to keep resources in the economic system for as long as possible. This means prioritizing reuse, repair, and remanufacturing over recycling. By doing so, we can reduce waste and pollution, while also promoting sustainable economic growth.

Importance of product design and production

refurbished iPhone 13 

Product design and production play a crucial role in the circular economy. Companies like Apple have been leading the charge in this area by designing products that are built to last and can be easily repaired or upgraded. For example, the refurbished iPhone 13 features durable materials and components that can be easily replaced, making it more sustainable and eco-friendlier.

Prioritizing reuse, repair, and remanufacturing over recycling


In the circular economy, the goal is to create a closed-loop system where products are designed with reuse in mind. This means prioritizing the use of recycled materials and designing products to be easily disassembled and repaired. By doing so, we can reduce the need for virgin materials and minimize waste.

Circular economy: a system that keeps resources in the economic system for as long as possible


Overall, the circular economy is a holistic approach to sustainability that focuses on creating a system where resources are used efficiently and waste is minimized. By prioritizing reuse, repair, and remanufacturing over recycling, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and future generations. And, by choosing to purchase refurbished Apple products like the refurbished iPhone 13, we can play a small but significant role in this larger effort.

Examples of Circular Economy in Action

Let's take a look at some examples of how the circular economy is being put into practice.

Tim Hortons – within a single company

Tim Hortons

First up, we have a classic Canadian example - Tim Hortons. Yes, the beloved coffee and donut chain is actually making strides in sustainability by implementing circular economy practices. How you ask? Well, they've started collecting used coffee cups and recycling them into new cups, napkins, and trays. Talk about getting the most out of your double-double!

The Apple Loop-Mobile partnership – Refurbished Apple devices that survive earthquakes

Loop Mobile is a company that specializes in refurbishing and reselling used mobile devices. And who's one of their biggest partners? You guessed it - Apple. By working with Loop Mobile, Apple is able to extend the life of their devices and reduce the amount of electronic waste ending up in landfills. So, by choosing to purchase a refurbished iPhone 13, you're not only doing your wallet a favor, but you're also helping to promote a more sustainable future.

The Netherlands – across entire cities, or even nations

The Netherlands

Finally, let's take a look at an entire country that's taking circular economy to heart - the Netherlands. In fact, the Dutch government has set a goal to become fully circular by 2050. This means transitioning to a system where waste is minimized, resources are used efficiently, and products are designed for reuse and recycling. And they're well on their way - the Netherlands is already a leader in areas like sustainable agriculture and waste management.

Importance of the Circular Economy

climate change circular economy

So, why should we care about the circular economy? Well, aside from the fact that it's just good common sense to not waste resources, there are actually a ton of benefits to embracing circular economy practices.

Addressing climate change, waste, and resource scarcity

First and foremost, the circular economy is a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. By reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices, we can minimize our impact on the environment and help preserve our planet for future generations. And let's face it, we could all use a little more planet-saving superhero action in our lives.

Economic gains and the value of waste as a resource

green jobs

But it's not just about saving the planet - there are economic gains to be had as well. Right now, only like 8.6% of the stuff we use actually gets recycled back into the system, which is pretty crazy. In fact, the circular economy is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars globally. By prioritizing reuse and refurbishment, we can create jobs and stimulate economic growth, all while reducing our reliance on limited resources.

Take refurbished Apple devices, for example. By extending the life of products like the iPhone 13, we can reduce the demand for new devices and the resources needed to make them. Plus, buying a refurbished Apple product can often be a more affordable option, which is great for your wallet and the environment.

Economic growth without reliance on limited resources

In the circular economy, waste is not a problem. It’s an opportunity – and a lucrative one at that.

By repurposing waste materials and turning them into new products, we can create value where there was once none. So next time you toss something in the trash, just remember - it could be the next big thing.

Challenges and Solutions

circular economy

Let's face it, changing the way we produce and consume goods is no small feat. But with a little collaboration and a lot of determination, we can make it happen.

Complexity of the circular economy and the need for collaboration

The circular economy poses a monumental challenge, for it demands a dynamic synergy of diverse industries and organizations, as well as an innovative revolution in product design and production. Yet fear not, for certain trailblazing companies are lighting a path to success, such as the inimitable partnership between Loop Mobile and Apple. Behold a win-win wonderland, where Apple slashes waste and Loop Mobile gifts consumers with refurbished Apple products.

Organizations that facilitate collaboration and collective action

Of course, partnerships like these are just one piece of the puzzle. There are also organizations out there that facilitate collaboration and collective action around the circular economy. Take the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, for example. They're dedicated to accelerating the transition to a circular economy by working with businesses, governments, and academia to create a more sustainable future. Others include Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) and Closed Loop Partners’ Center for Circular Economy.

Changes required from society, including consumers and system design

The success of the circular economy also depends on changes required from society as a whole. As consumers, we have a responsibility to make choices that support the circular economy, like buying refurbished Apple products instead of new ones. And as systems designers, we need to create infrastructure that supports circular practices, like designing products with repairability and reusability in mind.

Final Thoughts


refurbished iPhone

the circular economy is a necessary step towards a more sustainable and livable future. By prioritizing reuse, repair, and remanufacturing over recycling, we can keep resources in the economic system for as long as possible and reduce waste. And with partnerships like the one between Apple and Loop Mobile, it's becoming easier and more convenient for consumers to choose refurbished Apple products that support the circular economy.

Of course, making the transition to a circular economy won't be easy. It requires collaboration across multiple industries and changes from society as a whole. But by working together and embracing a more sustainable approach to production and consumption, we can create a future that's both prosperous and green.

So let's all do our part to support the circular economy - whether it's by buying refurbished iPhone 13s, designing products with repairability in mind, or advocating for policies that support the circular economy. Because at the end of the day, it's up to us to create the future we want to see.