In the Quest of Sustainability Principle "Reuse": Awareness of Northern Croatia Adult Population

Kristina Detelj, PhD

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics, Varazdin, Croatia



The world has found itself spinning ever faster and economies producing ever more. But this process cannot go on forever. The Earth we live on is one and only and it has limited resources in comparison with what the people are ready to use. Sustainability of the environment is bitten by recklessness of many but critical voices are being raised in recent decades. As Stahel (2016) noted, contrary to nature and its processes, people are still primarily functioning in linear way – "make, use, dispose". This is fundamentally supported by consumerism approach and the view that the economy prospers only by permanent growth driven by infinite desires of consumers (Rojek 2004). But critical voices emphasize the social role of entrepreneurship (Zahra and Wright 2016) with the conclusion that the entrepreneurship can benefit from lowering their environmental impact (wasteful resource usage) thus also resulting in personal and societal benefits, beside the economic value creation (see about the triple bottom line also in Klarin 2018). This also spurs emerging of new business opportunities (Korhonen, Honkasalo, and Seppälä 2018). As Zahra and Wright (2016) develop it further, the businesses have to "move from 'do no harm' to 'do good'". Sustainability can be promoted by the circular economy (CE). CE is a concept in which instead of linear flow, outputs from one part of the economic process are kept in this part longer (reused, repaired, refurbished) and eventually recycled as the input for the next part of the process. This reduces the waste for the landfill disposal and the needs for resources. (Geisendorf and Pietrulla 2018; Korhonen et al. 2018) Although the definitions clearly rely on the actions of the producers (e.g. companies), we cannot forget the market pull factor and the role of consumers. Raising awareness of the consumers about the consequences of their actions can be an important factor for hurrying up introduction of the CE principles, and especially increased recycling in their everyday operating practices (Abe et al. 2014). Since CE and its principles represent a complex phenomenon, in this paper the focus of research is on the "Reuse" principle and the awareness and willingness of the adult population in northern Croatia region to engage in the reusing the consumer goods. This region is economically strong with higher contribution of the manufacturing industry to the GDP compared to the rest of the country which makes it a good candidate for this preliminary study.

Keywords: Sustainability, Circular Economy, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

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