4 June 2017 | Graph

Ten keys to find the return him to the circular economy

Based on the principle to use the residues as consumptions, the model raises a change of logic in the manufacture of goods and the consumption; how they are the schemes that set out to take care of the atmosphere and which are their ties and challenges.

Silvia Stang

In rethink the strategies of production of goods and in giving a new sense to the way in that the people tie with them, they are the bases of the circular call economy. Between his postulates one considers that what in a scheme of linear economy (to produce, to consume and to throw) trash is considered, can happen to have a new life utility, often as a consumption to make new products.

Thus, one affirms, help to take care of the planet, because an unnecessary level of production is avoided, is reduced the amount of polluting elements in the atmosphere and the energy necessary is diminished to produce.

This form to conceive to the economy is translated more and more in concrete expressions in the world, that to a large extent was shocked by the announcement done Thursday last by Donald Trump, of its decision to retire to the United States in the Agreement of Paris, that supposes commitments of the countries to mitigate the Earth heating. Beyond that global problems (that a country of similar dimension does not look for to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions is something that affect to all), the circular economy also is with ties in each society in particular, as which it implies the lack of regulations and incentives for the recycling, or those that appear by structural problems or of organization (one of them is the absence of a suitable management of the residues).

In the world of the companies, one is that the form in which it is conceived the business includes the intention to respect the environment, by means of a design of the production process that as far as possible avoids the wastes (selling to other industries cuts of materials, for example, and trying that the consumptions are salvageable and recyclable). In the scope of the emprendedorismo, projects arise that incorporate residues as raw material. In the generation of energies, that is privileged €œnew€ that arrives and will not stop arriving daily at the Earth, as the force of the Sun and the wind, instead of the operation of the millenarian fossil resources. And between the consumers, the participation in a circular economy can be materialized in action as the one to separate of the trash which is recyclable, and in the responsible decisions at the time of buying.

The circular economy emparenta with other taken forms on the one hand of the productive world. The green economy sets out to reduce or to revert environmental negative impacts. The blue economy, promoted by the entrepreneur Gunter Pauli Belgian, is based on rescuing resources that are available (but low-achieving) in the communities, to promote the local development. And the economy of the triple impact, arisen from B-Corporation in EE.UU., is integrated by companies that have the intention to generate social and environmental benefits without losing of view the yield.

€œThis type of economies requires to retrace steps strategies and to take new ways, to obtain that the design, the materials, the innovation and the principles of property acquire a new sense€, he indicates to Juan Cruz Zorzoli, executive coordinator of the civil association Amartya, dedicated to develop educative programs for viability.

1-Use and reusar products and components and turning residues into resources

In the heart of the circular economy it annoys the necessity of a change in the traditional logic of the production and the consumption. The Ellen McArthur Foundation, one of the global institutions leaders in the promotion of this model, postulates that the economy circular €œis regenerative repairer and tries to obtain that the products, components and resources generally maintain their utility and value at any moment€. Ellen McArthur is a Briton who, years back, crossed the world in 72 days with her boat. In order to fulfill his goal, he had loaded the necessary provisions, and all along of the trip he had to be conscious that, if were finished to him, he would not have how to replace them. The same risk undergoes the planet with the continuity of a linear economy and discarding, according to the message that this woman decided to begin to spread: the resources used in the production are finite and the damages on the environment expand.

A particular way to rescue resources is in the practices of the blue economy. €œThe wealth that has our country in ecosystems and biodiversity, is directly proportional to the wealth that we have for the development of projects and undertakings based on the blue economy. The opportunity is immense€, it says Gonzalo Del Castillo, coordinator of Projects of the Argentine Chapter of the Club of Rome, that is now working along with the Ministry of Atmosphere and Sustainable development and the Zeri Foundation in the identification of possible initiatives in Argentina. Some of the projects developed in the world under €œthe blue€ scheme (Pauli says that of that color the planet is seen from the space) took to the production of fungi foods from rest of the coffee, of detergents using rinds of citruses, and paper being useful residues the mining.

2-Manage the residues, task for the home, the companies and the State

One of the objectives is to obtain that there is less and less re-usable more material trash and as consumptions. In this task there is responsibility of the companies, but also it is noticed that a ampler frame is needed, with actions of the State that order an action.

According to sources of the Ministry of Atmosphere and Sustainable development, today in Argentina they exist, from the public policies, €œdirective strategic€ to orient the management of residues towards the circular economy. Nevertheless, they add, the country has one serious problematic one in the matter of cleaning and that interferes in the plans (or it imposes other priorities) at the time of an action of ample reach. €œAround 35% of the population it does not accede to a system of suitable final disposition and is a great amount of small municipalities that still have open-cast rubbish dumps€, they describe sources of the portfolio.

Initiatives exist in any case from the State, as those of the Ceamse (produces biogas to give energy) and from private sectors, with great companies that become and entrepreneurs who initiate their activity taking resources from discarded objects. To only mention two cases: Xinca is a from Mendoza company of footwear that uses tires in disuse for the soles, and the Tip is a Cordovan undertaking that transforms rubbish into a material for the construction.

The inspiring principle of this strategy is in €œcopying to the nature€, where everything is able to become to continue within a dynamic cycle, in which does not take place trash proper.

3-to design to rescue (and to produce durable goods)

The responsibility of the companies in the management of the residues begins in the way in which they design his cycles of production and in the chosen materials. Michael Braungart chemistry and architect William McDonough, in its book Of the cradle to the cradle. Redesigning the form in which we make the things, they postulate that, for €œimitating to the nature€ and avoiding wastes, it must have a strategy in which from the conception and the own product design each one of the phases are considered: extraction of the raw material, processing, use, reusability, recycling.

€œThe base of the management of residues is the separation in the point of origen, because each remainder demands a different treatment; when collecting they identify them by sector and type using a bar code€, describes the director of Corporative Subjects of Toyota, Diego Prado, from one of the industries with a key roll in these new economies, as the automotive one. It divides the environmental strategy, it adds, it is in developing alternative technologies of propulsion to the fuel use of fossil origin.

Juan Verde, president of the Advanced Leadership Fundation (an institution that trains leaders for the new economies) says that all the industries must be oriented towards a green economy. He recognizes that some, as the textile, €œadvance but they let still much wish, by the use of chemicals and by the manufacture of clothes that is practically used and he throws himself€. That is by a only cortoplacista vision of the businesses that looks for to exile. To give an extensive life utility to the good is a principle of circularity, and is the criterion of companies as the one of clothes of free time Patagonia.

4-Rethink the property concept

The theory of circularity questions the necessity that has the people to be proprietors of certain goods. €œIf what we needed it is what the washing machine provides to us, it is necessary to be the owners of the washing machine? €, Zorzoli is asked. That the manufacturing company continues being the €œowner€ of the product, they maintain the defenders of circularity, would help to change the logic of an accelerated rate of consumption of goods by a logic based on one better administration of the resources, with the favorable effects that would have to take care of the quality of life on the planet.

That is, of some form, the concept that governs the practice of the governments of many cities, when putting at the disposal of the citizen bicycles for shared use.

5-Have a strategy for the packages

An industry that is in center of the attention of the circular economy is the one of packages. In the case of the glass, to reuse time and time again products or to disturb them to generate raw material is not any newness. The package of a drink that today is bought can be fact with materials that come €œcirculating€ for 50 years or even more.

€œIt is fundamental to foment with tax incentives the retornabilidad, that is closely ligature to the circular economy as business model€, Pablo Querol, vice-president of Corporative Subjects of Quilmes says. He adds that, in average, each bottle of beer is used 29 times and, soon recycle itself totally.

What happens with the packages of plastic PET? On the annual consumption of that material for bottles - that is of some 220,000 tons, between 20 and 25% are recycle. €œThree years ago we were in an index from 35 to 37%€, says Carlos Briones, manager of Institutional Relations of Dak Americas and Ecopek, the recycling plant. Briones attributes the backward movement to a question of prices (the one of the virgin material was in loss) and to the inflationary context. The fall that had of a time to this part the value of petroleum and its derived products, added to the rise of the other costs of the plant, caused that it was reduced in real terms what they receive the recuperators, a complex subject because enters game the roll of the intermediation between the people who join the bottles and the factory.

In the case of packages of tetra brik, in Argentina is recycle more than 500 million units to the year (on a consumption of about 2700 million), according to says Horacio Martino, manager of Viability of Tetra Pak. In this case, the rescued thing is only destined to the production of other goods, as plates for ceilings, plates of plastic agglomerate and pallets. €œWe implemented with municipalities and cooperatives of recuperators a recycling strategy that promotes systems of management of solid residues with separation in origin, harvesting of materials and social inclusion€, Martino counts.

6-Orient to the energies of renewable sources

Another one of the goals of an economy with interest by the environment is in going towards a greater use of energies of renewable sources. The Ellen McArthur Foundation maintains that the production systems would have to try to work essentially impelled of that way, and affirms that would be possible €œby the reduced values of energy that needs a restorative economy€.

A concrete example of smaller necessity of energy is that to fuse the worn out glass it is not necessary as much heat as the one that yes is needed to fuse sand with lime, that is the raw material of the product. €œWhen recycle it is needed as soon as 25% the energy that stops the new glass€, it indicates a guide on salvages published by the cooperative Creating Brings back to consciousness, an undertaking whose objective to reduce environmental damages is united with the one of the social inclusion. The cooperative offers services of harvesting differentiated from residues in the North zone of the Buenosairean suburbs and soon it sells materials to different factories.

7-Try the social inclusion and the creation of uses

For a movement as the one of the economy of triple impact, it is a natural characteristic to try a positive effect that it involves to the most vulnerable sectors of the society. In the case of the circular economy, the goal of an suitable management of the residues (eliminating contamination sources, that always affects more to the poor population) and cases as the one of Creating Brings back to consciousness, they show a possible fusion between both objectives.

But, beyond the potential of the green uses, a question arrives: if it is consumed of a more responsible way and if products of greater durability are used, affected isn't the capacity to create positions? The British economist Robert Skidelsky, who participated in a recent encounter of the IEO on the work of the future, identifies to the continuous dissatisfaction of the consumer and to the propensity to want and more material things always more, as one of the motors that until now took to generate positions. In the future, and according to he shelp in an interview that did La Naci³n to him, if to robotisation from the positions a tendency is added to moderate the consumption, the working level will happen to depend in main measurement of other social phenomena, as the greater life expectancy, that would make arise tasks associated to the benefit from services of health and another type for adults.

8-Redefine the roll of the consumer and its relation with the goods

€œThe consumers not yet we have been able to turn us into a factor of weight to contribute to harness the circular economy€, affirms Zorzoli from Amartya. €œCertain normative neglect, the lack of information and visualization of the impacts, and the constant stimulus of habits of consumption based on the comfort and the immediacy, does difficult to transform from the roll of consumers the present productive system€, it explains. It recognizes, simultaneously, that exists many groups of responsible consumption and which proposals for the access to goods and services arise from the viable economy, but considers that it still turns out insufficient to generate an impact. €œTo constitute a new social contract and to transform the educative system they are prevailing needs€, it concludes.

9-Fund a sustainable activity in replacement to donate

Some referring ones of the new economies think that it is due to review how philanthropy is conceived (defined by Real Academia as €œthe love by the human sort€). The necessary change consists of taking the passage from the donation towards the investment, for €œmaking a more strategic use of the resources€, according to says Mar­a Laura Tinelli, director of Acrux Partners, a consultant of investment of impact with center in South America. The impact investment, explains, supposes to use the lens of environmental and the social thing, in addition to the one of the risk and the return, at the time of deciding where to place the money. The difference with donating is that in this case activities are encouraged that, hope, are sustainable and improve the quality of life of the people. According to it pointed Tinelli, of a total mass of 212 trillions of dollars that are reversed in all the globe, are 114,000 million dollars destined to projects with social and environmental impact, and a 9% of that amount are in Latin America. The data arise from the Global Impact Investment Network.

10-Identify and to give force to the roll of the State

€œThe State can and must define the game rules that facilitate the migration towards an economy circular and that penalize the linearity in the productive processes€, it affirms Of Castillo, that it also assigns to this social actor the responsibility to him to work in the environmental education €œ, creative and enterprising€ so that the change happens. Between the specific policies, there are some that promote a law of packages, that forces to always incorporate a part of material recycling to each product and that helps to that bottles and bottles can be rescued. The norms could also promote the recovery of residues able to transform themselves into consumptions, as the oil used by the gastronomical activity.

Beyond the normative question, in the Atmosphere Ministry they tell that it is developed, on attendance of the I.A.D.B., the €œprogram Rubbish dump Zero€, with an approach towards a circular economy that promotes projects of regional reach (it is understood by region to several municipalities united for a joint policy of management of residues). The goals are that for 2019 and 2023, 80% and the 100% of the population of the country, respectively, they have access to a system of disposition adapted of the residues.

Photo: Javier Joaqu­n

Source: La Naci³n

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