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Circular Economy

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Watch the video and answer the questions:

What does overconsumption mean?

What kind waste can we turn into products? What kind of products?

How could we make recycling easier?

What kind of circular economy ideas do you have?

Part 1

Transcript

Hello guys, my name is Johana and I’m a volunteer at Bellona. Today I’m going to talk about circular economy. Human impact on the planet has for a long time been far from sustainable. Overusage of resources and exploitation of nature has caused problems to nature such as pollution, losses in biodiversity, and so on but it has also caused problems to us humans.

The climate change has affected almost all life on Earth. If you take a look at only Russia, it is warming 2.5 times faster than the rest of the planet. Catastrophes like massive wildfires in Siberia and flooding in Irkutsk region are climate-related. Climate change and other problems to our globe are mainly cause by overconsumption. Actually 80 percents of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from our every consumption choices. Our desire to live a comfortable life in the present causes us problems in the long term. Furthermore, many of our everyday consumer’s habits simply make no sense. Why do we have to buy a plastic bottle that we use for 15 minutes and then it becomes garbage that takes 350 years to decompose. Furthermore, it becomes microplastics that we end up eating and drinking.

Marine scientists noticed that habitats were being polluted with tiny pieces of plastic called microplastics.

In the traditional model of economy, this kind of unsustainable consumeristic idea makes total sense. That is because of the current idea of economy is linear. It has a start and an end. This means that in the current system, new resources are collected. New products are made from the resources. The products are sold and when the owners want to get rid of them, they simply dump the products to landfills. In other words, we rely on the continuing of actions; take, make, and dispose. This approach causes a massive waste production because of its single usage and replacement culture. Products are not made to last for a long time and new trends cause continuous need for new types of products.

The shopping never stops.

Instead of maintenance and lifelong usage, the old products are replaced over and over again by new products. Out of the whole amount, only 19 percent of the waste is recycled or composed. On the contrary, in the natural world, there is no such thing as waste; instead, natural biodegradation and a circular flow of resources and biowaste. For example, food waste ends up in nature. It degrades normally and carbon dioxide is released into air. Unfortunately, most of the natural things don’t end up in nature but instead in landfills. When we are dumping in landfills, those same carbon dioxide decay in different ways. That’s because landfills is anaerobic meaning it has no oxygen. Landfills are extremely compacted and harsh and carbon molecules become methane and methane is almost 30 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. When dumping waste into landfills, we are not only speeding up climate change but also wasting valuable resources. The more we buy, the more we produce waste. Industrial societies turn valuable resources into waste.

Part 2

Transcript

Circular Economy is a set of ideas that aims to break this old system that wastes resources. Circular economy ideas include keeping resources in continual use and eliminating waste imitating the natural life cycle of resources. In circular economy, circularity stands for sharing, reusing, recycling, energy efficiency, and cutting off single-use products. Economies stands for making these actions profitable creating new business models and innovating new ideas for environmentally friendly businesses. There are different scenes; for example, turning waste into new products changing from ownership to sharing a common service. For example, car-sharing instead of owning a car. Many of the ideas of circular economy are nothing new because the main idea is to keep the resources we have in use for a normal custom; let’s say a few generations ago. What is new in circular economy is that it is looking for new ideas to create businesses and make profits without comprising eco-friendliness and environment. Circular economy like bike rental stations like bike business in St. Petersburg are becoming more common. Other circular economy ideas are for example are app selling leftover food from restaurants for a cheaper price. Some companies that makes accessories out of recycled plastic. Circular economy offers a solution for two major problems that human kind is face.

The waste and limited resources.

Circular economy cannot work without the actions of everyday people. Individual and community level, this means that we have to develop a reasonable habit of using resources including groceries, clothing, energy, driving, flying, and leisure time. The only sensible solution for the massive global waste problem is waste storing, recycling, and cutting our waste to a minimum. Our home is our whole world and if we want to change the world, we have to start from our homes and ourselves.

Now I have questions for you all to consider:

What does overconsumption mean?

What kind of waste can we turn into products? What kind of products?

How could we make recycling easier?

What kind of circular economy ideas do you have?

Thanks for watching and have a great and environmentally friendly day!