Linear economy

What is meant by linear economy?

The linear economy (also called the “throwaway economy”) describes the currently prevailing system of industrial production. This model relies on large quantities of cheap and easily accessible materials and energy. In this economy, most of the natural resources used are sent to landfill or incinerated once a product reaches the end of its useful life. Only a small proportion of materials are re-used or recycled.

Another characteristic of the linear economy is “planned obsolescence”. It describes the premature and deliberate breakdown of equipment.

The linear economy contrasts with the circular economy.