One of the most vital global issues is waste. The massive amount of waste generated is increasing at a drastic rate. If we look at the stats from just 2019 alone, we discarded around 300 million tons of plastic. Not just plastic, other sorts of waste are causing significant damage to our environment, such as
- Electronic waste
- Household waste
- Plastic waste
- Radioactive waste
- Industrial waste
Dumping waste in landfills is not a terminatory solution to this problem. We need a better alternative that will permanently eliminate any means of danger to our environment.
Non-renewable resources release harmful gases upon burning. Coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, and oil are the types of non-renewable resources. The burning of these resources causes severe public health issues due to toxic air pollution. These resources will eventually run out as they are irreplaceable once consumed.
The gravity of this problem has been a big concern for people recently. They are opting for a much efficient alternative that will eliminate this problem for good. Building a circular economy to fight this crisis is one of the systematic alternatives that we can choose.
What is the circular economy?
To understand the circular economy, we must understand the difference between linear and circular economies.
- The Linear economy is the concept used in our manufacturing systems. For example, many industries harvest raw materials to produce their products. These products are then distributed and later used by us. After using them, it is thrown away as a waste product. It is a straightforward process consisting of four steps; Take, Make, Use and Dispose.
- The Circular economy works opposite to the linear economy. The key objective is to reduce the need for raw materials and waste produced. The aim is to restore and regenerate as many materials as possible and products. The circular economy approaches zero waste by remanufacturing, repairing, and reusing the waste.
Below are some ways to transition towards a circular economy:
1. Reducing the average consumption
Restricting the consumption of resources benefits a circular economy. We consume far more than we think. Large-scale industries exploit many raw materials and do nothing for the betterment. Approximately every year, 7 million hectares of forests cut down to use wood as a raw material in many industries, and 37% of this proportion goes to harvest timber.
The consumption of raw materials in the 20th century increased drastically, twice the population growth. We can implement some eco-friendly lifestyle swaps to help our environment. Minimizing the use of non-renewable resources will have a significant impact on our environment. These resources are irreplaceable; hence they are unsustainable. Single-use plastic bags is one of the greatest enemies of our environment. Imposing a ban on using this and using bamboo bags or cloth bags is a much efficient alternative. At Auklett, we offer a wide of eco-friendly, zero waste and sustainable products. You can start your eco-friendly journey with our bamboo toothbrush.
2. Develop a systematic change
Sustainability should not depend only on the choices that a user makes. It should also depend on the product, its manufacturing processes. For example, large machines such as photocopier machines are expensive as they use valuable material in their manufacturing. So, the manufacturer has developed a circular economy of sorts in which they retain the product from the user and refurbish it or fix it. It is a good approach rather than discarding it as a waste.
Global plastics production totalled 368 million metric tons in 2019. Plastic packaging of products is still used all around the world. 32% of plastic packaging is not recovered and can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. The solution to this problem is to impose taxes on products that contain less recyclable material than 30-40%.
3. Consume cautiously
Reducing consumption alone wouldn't impact but consuming better or with caution will develop a circular economy. For example, introduce sustainable products in your daily life, avoid meat products, and adapt an eco-friendly hobby will have a long-lasting impact on the environment.
Opting for sustainable products will benefit our environment in the long run, for example, Auklett bamboo toothbrushes, reusable tote shopping bags and reusable metal straws. It will reduce the amount of plastic waste that decreases ocean pollution by a large margin. We are an online store with the motto reduce and reuse. We make sure our products are eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan-friendly, and free of cruelty. We offer a range of nature-friendly products so you can easily make sustainable choices every day.
Switching to a plant-based diet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 30% of the total greenhouse gas emission is due to food production.
Developing a hobby such as composting will reduce the average food wastage in landfills. Instead of throwing food away, utilizing it in composting will benefit you and our environment.
Instead of driving to the nearest supermarket or general store, walking can save a few pounds and help reduce the harmful gases released into the environment.
4. Revitalization of natural systems
Protecting the natural environment by preserving renewable resources and avoiding non-renewable resources is a circular economy. Maintaining the resources back to our earth supports regeneration.
It does not only protect our environment but enhances the condition of our environment. Composting is one of the best examples of regeneration of our natural system.
5. Design reusable products
The manufacturer should ponder upon what will happen to the product after consumption. Can it be reused or recycled completely?
The idea is to prevent wastage and pollution from happening in the first place. Linear models of products are to reduce cost and benefit themselves. If we look around our room, we will find many products that release toxic gases and hazardous substances once used. But we need to change this ideology and redesign our systems for the betterment of our environment.
Shifting towards the circular economy is not an easy task, and it won't happen in a day or the next few months. It will take the time and collective effort of every human being on this planet. We all must play our parts, industrialists, consumers, governments, and communities, to ensure a bright and healthy future for our beautiful earth.