Biomimicry and the circular economy are models that rely on the operation of ecosystems, i.e. autonomous, circular and waste-free operation. The circular economy is inspired by natural ecosystems, while in biomimetic thinking the ecosystem is the very first model and principle to be taken into account. We can learn from the processes of a plant or a species, but thinking must be global and ecosystemic.
These are two complementary approaches. Biomimicry provides a methodology for the circular economy by finding solutions to specific problems. For example, turning waste into resources by drawing inspiration from one species that feeds on waste from another species. As for the circular economy, it provides an economic context for biomimicry.
Today our systems are largely linear whereby we take energy from the environment use it up and return it to the environment depleted and usually in a toxic state. Learning from nature we see how energy is used efficiently thereby generating new growth.