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The 7 R’s of the circular economy

We are all familiar with the principle of the circular economy: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. However, this concept became obsolete, from 3, then 5, and finally the 7 r’s of the circular economy.

The 7 R’s of the circular economy are 7 words beginning with r and refer to the actions needed to achieve the shift towards a circular economy. They constitute a framework that has been recognised and promoted by governments, businesses and institutions in recent years.

The 7 R’s of the circular economy

To see what each of the R’s of recycling consists of, we have to put them in order based on the waste hierarchy. In this way, an order of preference of actions is determined with the aim of achieving a circular economy model.


This process starts with the redesign of the product, which is based on introducing ecology into the design, also known as eco-design. Thus, products are designed and manufactured considering the environment and the impact they may have on it.

In this way, the aim is for products to achieve a high level of sustainability through the study of materials and designs.


This action refers to the need to reduce both the amount of products consumed and the industrial waste generated by both citizens and companies, as we live in a mass consumerism. To do this, habits must be changed towards more responsible consumption.


All the products we consume can have a second life and a second purpose. By reusing it for the same or a different purpose, we extend the useful life cycle of the object.


Once a product has been damaged or broken, it should be repaired rather than discarded so that it can once again perform the function for which it was manufactured.


This action of the 7Rs of the circular economy consists of updating, renewing or modernising all those old objects or materials that can be used again for the purpose for which they were created or for another purpose. In this way we use what we already have instead of buying something new.


Recovering is collecting materials or products that have previously been used and reintroducing them into the production process to give them a second life.


Recycling is the last R in the circular economy and the waste hierarchy, and is one of the most important steps as it is the one that prevents all waste from eventually ending up in landfill. It allows waste to be turned into resources or raw materials again to create new products. This is how the circular economic model is encouraged and promoted.

Today, more and more companies are making industrial recycling part of their production cycle. In addition, there are different types of recycling that can be adapted to different materials and circumstances.

Where does ScrapAd fit into the circular economy?

ScrapAd’s mission is to simplify the buying and selling of waste in a way that accelerates and drives the circular economy, reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Therefore, we are convinced to be in the Recover and Recycle action of the 7 R’s of the circular economy, giving a second life to waste and materials by reintroducing them into the production cycle.

If you are a company in the recycling sector, register for free on our platform and negotiate for the materials you are interested in.

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