The concept of the circular economy aims to keep raw materials in a closed loop. In this way, resources are maximally used, the need for new ones is reduced, waste is avoided and the life cycle of products is increased.

In essence, it requires the practice of the tried and tested concepts of Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture, Repurpose and Recycle, which are foundational to our existence on the planet. When all combined, they form a holistic closed loophole system which once properly initialized will organically be optimized.

Plastic waste and pollution have captured the attention around the world. Approximately 6,300 million tonnes of plastic are estimated to have reached end-of-life since the start of mass production in the 1950s, with the considerable majority of this not recycled or used for energy recovery. Instead, plastics are typically accumulated in landfills and the environment.

Achieving 20 to 30% of recycled content for plastic packaging by 2030 globally could require as much as $100 billion cumulatively, spanning collection, sortation, and both mechanical and advanced recycling technologies.

The textile sector emits 2-8% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, consumes 215 trillion liters of water per year, and generates 9% of annual microplastic losses to oceans.

Recycling and repurposing of finished products will decrease GHG emissions as it will eliminate a lot of processes throughout the various stages of textile production. Focusing on using materials like biodegradable fabrics, forest-based fibers and clothes that decompose better will also help create a sustainable trend in the industry.

With respect to electronics. A record 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21% in just 5 years. It is predicted that global e-waste, discarded products with a battery or plug, will reach 74 Mt by 2030, almost a doubling of e-waste in just 16 years.

This makes e-waste the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream with only 17.4% of 2019’s e-waste collected and recycled.

The economic opportunity from recycling e-waste is huge as it allows for the separation of valuable materials such as iron, copper, aluminum, palladium, lithium, and copper that can then be reused.

to top