At least 50% of the climate emissions can be reduced
The core message of the circular economy is decoupling from the take-make-dispose linear paradigm. Only the “take”-part is responsible for at least half of the climate gas emissions: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/12/resource-extraction-carbon-emissions-biodiversity-loss
For Europe, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that a circular economy development path could halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, relative to today’s levels (48% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 across mobility, food systems, and the built environment, or 83% by 2050). In addition, sector specific analysis conducted indicates that the U.K. could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.4 million tonnes per annum by keeping organic waste out of landfills. Another report claims that more circular economy can make deep cuts to emissions from heavy industry: in an ambitious scenario,
as much as 296 million tons CO2 per year in the EU by 2050, out of 530 Mt in total – and some 3.6 billion tonnes per year globally.
One of the serious misconceptions of circular economy is however a belive in quickfixes by RECYCLING. But recycling does only make sense if it results in less extraction from mining and a less need of virgin resources. Otherwise we are just working with downcycling, a pseudo-circular approach. And the climate destructive “take” will continue anyhow.
The difference between downcycling and circular recycling is – appropriate chemicals and materials
Only less than 10% of the plastics is recycled today, even if a lot more have been collected and sorted out. The majority of plastics is rejected due to lack of transparency of chemical content. But nobody can take responsibility for recycled products if we don’t know what they were made of before being recycled. Today’s single biggest obstacle to recycle plastic is the uncertainty of what the plastic originally contained.
The design sets the boundaries for the product’s ability to be a part of the technical and biological cycle. The core process of the circular economy is to direct the material flow of resources into functioning life cycles. It is therefore easy to realize that each production cycle needs to be rid of substances of concern to function optimally in a circular economy.
The same rule applies: Garbage In – Garbage Out.
In order to maintain the value of materials and products in the cycle, one must gain the competence and ability to operate a circular chemistry.
We need to understand several things: first, what do the authorities and rules demand and deliver with regard to a circular economy? Secondly, what do these rules not deliver? Thirdly, what gaps must be filled with other skill sets and abilities?
What to do – and what is in it for me?
When you gain an ability in circular chemistry, it means you have an insight into the possibilities that regulations and limitations create. You can then correctly prioritize healthy chemical strategies. To get an idea what to be phased out and how will the alternatives look like will definitely bring up the company value. This give your company and the society the additional, and re-occurring benefits of a circular economy including a significant mitigation of the climate change.
1 Means to prioritize – where to start and with what
2 Benchmark- scan recent successful projects in order to know where to get most action
3 Project management of your projects and actions, from start to finish
4 Help you to communicate your efforts and actions to target your most important groups and stakeholders