Editor's note

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 22.10.2017, 11:08

Circular economy: new political economy guidelines

Eugene Eteris, BC, Riga/Copenhagen, 04.08.2017.Print version

Circular economy (CE) is good both for healthy environment and rational use of existing resources. Besides, it provides good opportunities for business, gaining profit and competition advantages, as well as for growth and export. Changing old growth patterns into circular economy will increase EU’s economy by 7% in 2030 and each household by 11%. Bottom line: Baltic States need to change existing economic paradigm.

Circular economy, generally, is about saving, sharing and re-using those products and/or materials in real economy in order to economically dispose/process various kinds of wastes. Such approach is definitely good for environment, but even more for progressive economy with fewer resources involved.

 

Experts say that “mother nature” needs 1,5 years to recover what global economy uses during a year; some countries are using simply too much... For example, according to British think-tank Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if we follow the linear economic methods, average European family will lose about 11per cent of income by 2030 and the whole EU’s economy will shrink by 7per cent (Politiken, Kroniken Section, 25.06.2017).

 

Thus, changing existing development paradigm is a necessity: a modern state shall re-think the ways it designs, produces and consumes along circular economy (CE); the sooner the better!

Most challenging are CEs issues for small countries, like the Baltic States with educated work force and limited resources. Main perspective is closer cooperation between public and private sectors along new CE methods and decisions with new investment opportunities. Certainly, business community and politicians have to be adequately informed along new “circular way of life”. 

 

In Latvia, every year 275 cub m of various wastes are damped in nature: in the forests, along the roads, in the lakes, etc.  See more in Latvijas Zaļais punkts and in www.zalais.lv

Managing wastes

Managing wastes is becoming a priority: for example, average Danish household produces about 600 kg of wastes a year; it is much smaller in other EU states, e.g. in Germany. Worst is that only small share of wastes is utilized, most is incinerated: less than half of the wastes is processed or/and managed in Denmark while about 65% in Germany. Total wastes’ “burden” in Denmark is almost constant at the level of 11 million tons/year during 2013-15, while household wastes increased from 40 to 46 per cent; however, about 72% of industrial wastes is additionally used for something valuable. Thus, perspective is clear - non-waste production, as waste is always an important resource: examples are numerous, from recycling plastic bottles to re-used textile wastes for isolation; to re-using old PCs, tablets and smart-phones, to various sorts of renewables… 

 

Bottom-line: modern political economy needs a new impetus based on circular economy’s approach. Scientific communities have to make adequate advises to governments for introducing circular economy’s guidelines. 





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