The concept of zero waste goes beyond recycling and composting at the end of a product's life cycle, to encompass the entire life cycle of a product, beginning with product design, and envisioning the use and management of materials in ways that preserve value, minimize environmental impacts, and conserve natural resources
A circular economy is one that has a positive net effect on the environment. For businesses, the goal is to retain as much value as possible from resources and materials used - the opposite of a linear economy of take, make and dispose. It restores any damage done and ensures that as little waste as possible is generated through the production process and the life history of the product.
The idea is simple enough: use only the materials needed, manufacture without creating additional waste, and produce products that can be used again later.