Zero Waste Detroit believes in the possibilities of a circular economy.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, our current system takes natural resources, makes things out of them, and then throws them away shortly after. We call this a linear economy. It has a defined start and end. That defined end creates landfills, litter and depleted resources.

A circular economy aims to change the system. It redefines how we manage resources, how we make and use products, and what we do with the materials afterward. It seeks to do the following:

  • Eliminates waste and pollution by ensuring unneeded or poorly designed materials aren't created in the first place
  • Circulates products and materials by reusing, repairing and recycling
  • Regenerating our products as raw materials once again

In a perfect circular economy, there is no end to a product. There is no landfill. Instead, products and their parts are repurposed time and again in a circular way.

Striving for a circular economy will build generate long-term business and economic opportunities and provide long-term environmental and societal benefits in ways our linear economy can't.

Learn more about the circular economy at