PRECIOUS PLASTIC With Ronny Castillo from Madre Tierra Verde Foundation Circular Economy & Recycling RONNY CASTILLO Ronny is an honorary...
Waste & recycling management
Humanity is drowning in its own garbage. Our global waste production is growing exponentially each year. The reason for this is our increasing consumption behaviour.
With a total waste volume of 625,000 tonnes per day, the USA is the world’s largest waste producer in 2018, followed by China with over 520,000 tonnes of waste per day.
Since 1950, incredible 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced, presenting a great danger to humans and nature. 79 percent of the world’s plastic waste ends up in landfills or directly in nature, like our oceans. 12 percent is burned and only 9 percent is being recycled – usually only once.
In total, we dispose around 50 million tons of electronic scrap worldwide every year, such as old computer equipment, televisions, stereo equipment and kitchen appliances. Precious rare earth metals are used for this purpose.
Every year we throw away 7.2 million tons of food, but more than half of it is still edible. Paradoxically, every 7th person in the world doesn't have enough to eat.
In addition, between 20% and 40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets before they even reach the shelves. The reason for this is the aesthetic standards of the food industry. If fruit or vegetables look too bulky, lumpy or different, they are mucked out and usually thrown away.
Circular economy is a system by which our resources, garbage, emissions and the used energy are minimized. A fundamental part of it is the efficient recycling of goods and packaging.
In the closed loop economy model, existing materials and products are to be reused, repaired, refurbished, split or recycled for as often as possible.
With circular economy systems we can find solutions and alternatives to our rapidly changing and resource consuming throwaway society.
The purpose is to create added value through more efficient production and use of products in order to sustainably improve the use of resources. Inspired by the natural ecosystems, a concept is created which, as a closed system, contributes to the optimal reuse of materials.
Currently, however, the legal regulations for waste management are being modernised, finally moving away from a linear to a closed loop system. Since already 1994 there has been a circular economy law, which is at present more in focus.
In this context, the UNEP environmental function definition of a green economy without reference to growth is an economy that is translated into "improved human well-being and social equality, environmental risks and ecological deficiency". "Put simply, a green economy that aims to be low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive. "
(Source: www.greenfacts.org, www.drustage.unep.org)