Despite decades of being told to reduce waste and increase recycling, the world’s waste production woes are only increasing. What is the catalyst that can put a real dent in our rising mountains of mismanaged waste? Proponents of the circular economy approach say that things need to change everywhere, as quickly as possible.
As the COP26 summit continues, the need to find workable solutions quickly to generations-old issues is no easy task. The immediate focus has, understandably, largely fallen on the global transition from hydrocarbon-based energy production to renewables. This is the fastest route to significantly reducing global CO2 emissions and meeting the key target of limiting the world’s average temperature rise to 1.5°C temperature by the end of the century.
However, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s research predicts that transitioning to renewable energy and boosting overall energy efficiency can only address around 55% of the targeted emissions. They believe that the other 45% can come from embracing the circular economy and its principles of reducing waste through closed loop systems.