Circular Economy in Lisbon
In a linear view of the economy, we dispose of any product that is no longer useful for purpose. We then consider all these different products (food, clothes, electronics...) one homogenous pile of ‘waste’, which we must burn or store. In contrast to this straight line from material to waste, a circular perspective of the economy sees waste as a valuable resource. By linking the end of the life of one product to the beginning of the next, there is no such thing as waste; every component is seen as a potential raw material for something else. It is a simple but powerful idea that can result in elegant production cycles. To learn more, check out the Ellen McArthur Foundation.
There are several examples of a circular approach to production in Lisbon!
The mushrooms at Nãm are grown on coffee grounds taken from cafés in Lisbon. This zero-waste company sells these mushrooms to local restaurants and the leftovers from growing the mushrooms are used as fertilizer. You can even buy a starter kit if you’d like to start growing mushrooms at home using your own coffee grounds!
Rather than buying a new plastic bottle every time, Purify Eco lets you re-fill bottles at your local supermarket. These machines are already available at many locations in Lisbon.
This company delivers boxes of organic vegetables, eggs, even bread, and they re-use their crates and egg-boxes. By using the whole vegetable whenever possible, you can greatly decrease the amount of waste generated by your meals. If you compost your leftovers, you’re really starting to close that circle and see the value in ‘waste’.