Today's global consumption consumes more resources than are available. The principle of a circular economy counteracts this and pursues the goal of reducing the consumption of resources and using materials as efficiently and for as long as possible, in closed cycles.
The butterfly diagram illustrates, in simple terms, the complex interdependencies of a circular economy. In the organic cycle, products are composed such that their materials fully degrade into organic base materials in the natural environment. In the technical cycle, as a first priority the aim is to design products with longevity and to repair and reuse them and, after their use, repurpose their individual components for new products. If this is not possible, the materials are recycled. Thus the circular economy goes well beyond simply recycling materials.