Late last month global circular economy organisation Circle Economy released their latest edition of the Circularity Gap Report, an initiative that aims to measure the state of the world economy from a circular perspective and identify key interventions to transition to a more circular model. Let’s deal with the most concerning aspect of their findings first. In 2018, when the first gap report was released, Circle Economy established that the global economy was just 9.1 per cent circular, already indicating a huge gap between the amount of resources we extract and what we effectively recover. Rather than increasing the amount of materials we reuse and recycle, however, the 2020 Gap Report found we have gone backwards.
Nine out of ten consumers have never heard of the concept ‘circular economy’, a new survey has found. The results, collated by The Pull Agency, reported that 87% of UK consumers do not know the term for the economic system, which is aimed at eliminating waste, despite 88% claiming to look for sustainability credentials when shopping for beauty and personal care products. In addition, only 9% of respondents said they have sent a jar back to a manufacturer for refills and only 14% have used a refill service, even though 15% of shoppers want more in-store refill stations to reuse existing containers.
In 2013, people around the globe bought more than 1.8 billion mobile phones. But now, nearly half of them are most likely in landfills or at homes, sitting there without any use, as their owners upgrade to newer versions. Imagine, however, if these devices went back to the manufacturers once their lifespan came to an end in order to be turned into new mobile phones. How much would that save the manufacturer in terms of raw materials and time? Or what would be the result if these devices didn’t have to be replaced because they were easily repairable and upgradable? This is what could be called a “Circular Economy” approach, a new model of production and consumption that thinks of our impact on the environment and our society as a whole.
Pouring solvents down the drain may be an easy way to dispose of them, but this act can be a costly mistake for your business. Many solvents are considered hazardous waste, and with that designation comes a host of regulations you must follow for proper disposal. What many companies may not realize, however, is that solvent waste still plays a valuable role in industry even when they are spent or no longer can be used. In fact, solvent waste plays a critical role in the circular economy, a viable alternative that manufacturers are exploring as they look for ways to save costs and improve their sustainability.
With an initiative funded by the KOREA-AFRICA ECONOMIC COOPERATION (KOAFEC) focused on waste management, the African Development Bank aims to accelerate the circular economy in Africa, a model which aims to minimise waste and maximise value from resources through the recovery and regeneration of products at the end of their typical service life. The rationale for the initiative, entitled “Development of a Green Growth Investment Program in Africa focused on waste management and the circular economy,” is that waste management constitutes one of the major developmental challenges for Africa. It has serious potential consequences in terms of environmental quality, public health, fisheries, agriculture, and sustainable development. The expected outcome of the KOAFEC intervention is a stronger enabling environment for sustainable waste management and circular economy activities. This will be delivered through an enhanced policy and regulatory framework, capacity building and resource mobilization activities.