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There's a lot written about the transition to a circular economy, but what does a circular economy product look like? Find a few you can already buy below.
A circular economy requires that companies innovate and rethink common products to reduce waste and use less natural resources. Circular design concepts worked into these products include upcycling, zero-waste packaging, and return to refill. Below is a list of circular economy products you can buy today in the United States:
A personal care subscription service that sells refillable containers and the refills that go into them. Either buy refills as you run out or get a subscription. Their products are designed to reduce our plastic footprint, according to the company.
Buy the Shampoo Bar on Amazon. Everything else is available at byHumankind.com.
Bite Toothpaste Bits
Did you know one billion empty toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year? Bite Toothpaste Bits, on the other hand, come in glass containers that are recyclable and refillable. Refills are mailed in compostable containers.
Bite Toothpaste Bits work like traditional toothpaste, but they come in bite-sized bits. Pop a bit in your mouth, wet your toothpaste, and brush as usual.
Buy a bottle or subscribe at BiteToothpasteBits.com
Unpaste Zero Waste Toothpaste Tablets
Unpaste toothpaste tablets by Well Earth Goods eliminates the toothpaste container. The bits come in a plastic-free and fully compostable bag made of corn starch. The bags can be composted and if they end up in the trash they will eventually decompose.
Buy on Well Earth Goods*.
Grove Collaborative Concentrated Cleaning Pouches
This is my favorite circular economy product of all time! I use these cleaning pouches every single day. Just open the pouch, pour it into the glass spray bottle (or old empty plastic bottle) then add water. Viola! You're ready to clean. Read more about Grove Collaborative and all the green cleaning products that work wonders.
Buy them on Grove Collaborative*
The soda stream is a tried and true oldie but a goodie. It's the ultimate circular economy product because you reduce waste by making your own sparkling water from filter tap water. Instead of bottled water being shipped and transported halfway around the globe, you simply make your own sparkling water over and over again. When the cartridge is empty, use SodaStream's gas exchange service using a UPS pre-paid label. Learn more about why SodaStream is healthier for you and the planet.
NaturalMat has long used all-natural materials and is now innovating toward an even more circular design. The company is redesigning its mattresses to increase re-use at the end of life and to reduce waste to landfills. Their mattresses now use 50% fewer adhesives making them easier to disassemble and recycle. Customers receive an incentive to return the mattress instead of throwing it away so it can be reused, recycled or upcycled.
Buy the crib mattress on Amazon*
The Reformation claims to be the most sustainable fashion brand. They use materials such as regenerated nylon and recycled cashmere. New materials come from organic cotton and various types of Tencel by Lenzing. Customers are encouraged to send used clothes to thredUP.
Buy on TheReformation.com
Designers use pre-consumer textile waste from remnant markets in Cambodia. New clothes are made from the remnant fabric, and the yarn is made from leftover scraps used to sew the clothes, according to tonlé.
Buy on MadeTrade.com*
Circular economy product design
As you can see, the list of circular economy products you can buy today is growing. The three main principles of circular economy products: they should design out waste, keep materials in use, and regenerate the environment rather than deplete it.
A few examples. Tonle keeps materials in use by using fabric that would otherwise be wasted. Bite Toothpaste has designed out plastic waste by creating an alternative to plastic toothpaste tubes. Plus you can return the container to be refilled when you need more toothpaste. Natural Mat uses regenerative materials grown close to the factory.
Products should be good for us and the planet, don't you think? Find more circular economy examples on EarthyB.com.