Zero waste cities

A recent study by Deloitte for Environment and Climate Change Canada shows only 9 per cent of the 3.2 million tonnes of plastic waste generated each year in Canada is recycled. As much as 2.8-million tonnes – the weight of 24 CN Towers – ends up in Canadian landfills. More detail here.

While we obviously need to continue recycling for quite some time, putting the emphasis on genuine circular innovations – that is, moving us away from a waste-based model – should be our sole objective. We must set community goals to pressure innovation.

Recycling is linear

In a linear economy, we do not account for the side-effects generated by a product once sold to an end customer. The aim is to sell a maximum number of products at minimal cost. Continuous pressure to reduce costs leads to the creation of many of these side-effects – called externalities by economists. The higher a company’s rate of production and the higher its efficiency, the more successful it will be at selling its goods in a fiercely competitive environment.

One way to start thinking like a leader in the next economy while creating jobs could be in order of priority:

– Reuse by repairing (goods) through re-hiring (people), while sharing the radical benefits (awareness) of such a model

– Redistribute by promoting access (goods) through collaboration (people), while sharing information (awareness) about this model

– Remanufacture via the ease of disassembly (goods) by training (people), while sharing the acquired knowledge (awareness) through this model

– Migration of recycling activities by diverting (goods) to service models, transferring skills (people) to remanufacturing processes (awareness).

All of the above make sense in a world where planetary limits have already hit most economies. Adopting a circular strategy by avoiding reliance on recycling is the way forward.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/11/build-circular-economy-stop-recycling/

Find solutions https://zerowastecanada.ca/

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