Why Is Circular Economy Important ?
The "linear economy" model that now governs the world is unsustainable. Under this model, the global food wastage is 66 tonnes per second. That equals six garbage trucks' worth of edible food wasted worldwide every second.
On this course, the resource demand will nearly triple to 130 billion tonnes annually by 2050, exceeding the earth's capacity by more than 400%.
The circular economy is a fresh concept quickly gaining popularity in several countries, including the UAE. You might be curious to know why a circular economy is important to the UAE. It offers many of the benefits that a linear economy doesn't.
A linear economy is different from a circular economy. A linear economy follows the "take-make-dispose" principle and is incompatible with today's progressive and environmentally conscious society.
On the other hand, a circular economy is a type of economic structure that attempts to eliminate waste and constant resource consumption, lowering a nation's carbon footprint and raising its economic benefits.
For instance, the World Economic Forum estimates that if companies support the growth of circular supply chains to boost the rate of recycling, reusing, and reprocessing, a circular economy may generate more than USD 4.5 trillion in economic gains by 2030. However, it is essential to address this in the context of the UAE and why a circular economy is important to the country's future.
How UAE Is Transitioning to a Circular Economy
Since the UAE is presently concentrating on developing and preserving a sustainable ecosystem and infrastructure, which is a crucial component in the National Agenda as per Vision 2021, attaining a circular economy is one of the strongly proposed solutions that can propel the country toward economic and social sustainability.
As part of its effort for sustainable economic growth, the UAE has passed 22 laws to accelerate the nation's transition to a circular economy. The four primary industries targeted by the UAE Circular Economy Council's programs are Transportation, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, and Food.
The United Arab Emirates has announced initiatives to promote sustainable economic growth and advance its climate change ambitions. The country has promised to achieve its net-zero carbon goal by 2050. It hopes to achieve this by transitioning to a circular economy.
The UAE will be able to derive significant economic, social, and environmental benefits from a circular economy.
What Is a Circular Economy—Exactly?
A circular economy is an economic system that strongly emphasizes lowering resource exploitation, cutting waste, and restoring the environment. Finished goods, raw materials, and components retain their value for a long time, and countries use renewable sources to power economic activity.
According to the Global Commission on Economy and Climate, applying the concepts of the circular economy could provide $26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.
In July, the Abu Dhabi government said that it would spend Dh10 billion ($2.72 billion) to increase the manufacturing sector's capacity by 2031. However, it reiterated its commitment to running the industry sustainably by creating a new legal framework for the circular economy to support this.
The goal of shifting to a circular economy is to reduce the adverse effects of a linear economy while improving the system's overall health. This paradigm change will result in new commercial and economic prospects while enhancing the environment.
According to an OECD report, about 50% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by this procedure. The GCC nations have roughly nine million tonnes of scrap metal annually, with plastic and metal trash increasing at rates far higher than the global average.
The UAE recently implemented the Circular Economic Policy to control the use of natural resources and its strategy for achieving sustainable governance.
Real circular economies have advantages beyond environmental benefits. A country that adopts a circular economy boosts its economic competitiveness while ensuring a more viable future for coming generations.
A circular economy offers significant potential for economic growth in addition to its positive effects on the environment.
A McKinsey report states that adopting circular business practices, such as disassembling existing product pieces and repurposing them to create new items, can boost enterprises' income and gross domestic product (GDP).
How the UAE Can Achieve a Circular Economy
We now understand why a circular economy is important to UAE's growth, but how can the country achieve it? A fundamental change in perspective and highly sophisticated economic planning is necessary to achieve a circular economy.
No single entity is capable of achieving such a plan by itself. It calls for a deliberate, persistent, and coordinated effort by the public and private sectors, townships, environmental organizations, government departments, and even individual residents.
The circular economy can be supported at the top of the hierarchy by actions like efficient resource utilization, circular economy legislation, and sustainable manufacturing import and manufacturing.
The true paradigm shift might occur in the top tier of the hierarchy. The UAE can establish a fertile ground for technological and commercial innovation around developing and designing inherently cyclical goods if the circular economy goal is presented as an opportunity and supported with the appropriate funding programs. It might inspire new ventures and sectors of the economy that generate employment and wealth.
As the 3R policies (reduce, reuse, and recycle) are embraced more widely by both enterprises and consumers, they can significantly contribute to sustaining the circular economy as we move down the hierarchy.
Facilities for waste-to-resources, waste-to-energy, and material recovery play a crucial role at the bottom of the hierarchy by feeding back into the top and minimizing the unwanted waste that ends up in landfills.
The products of today could be the resources of tomorrow. Goods should be returned, renewed, restored, regenerated, and resold rather than thrown away.
Governments and large organizations may appear to be making the most significant commitments to achieving these objectives. Still, every person and company has the chance to help change the economy toward a circular one.
An excellent place to start would be using the digital recycling solution of Recapp that allows you to safely and correctly recycle.