Circular Economy and India
What is a circular economy?
It is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste; and the continual use of resources. It includes 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), Refurbishment, Recover, and Repairing of materials. Consumables in the circular economy are largely made of biological ingredients that are non-toxic and possibly even beneficial, and can safely be returned to the biosphere, either directly or in a cascade of consecutive uses.
It is an alternative to a traditional linear economy. This linear economy is modelled on the take-make-waste industrial model (make, use, dispose of). The circular economy aims to design out waste. Sustainable Development Goal 12 responsible consumption and production requires changing the linear production model and shifting towards the circular economy. The circular economy has the potential to increase productivity and create jobs, whilst reducing carbon emissions and preserving valuable raw materials.
Example: The ‘For Days’ model
US clothing firm For Days was inspired by the volume of clothing hoarded in consumer wardrobes. ‘For Days’ encourages customers to send their old clothes in the post. It doesn’t matter whether they were made by For Days in the first place, and people receive money-off vouchers for new items in return.
Circular Economy in India: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has formulated a policy paper on “Circular Economy in Electronics and Electrical Sector” to deal with e-waste.
The patent certificate is issued recently to KVIC’s Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI) by the Controller of Patent for The plastic-mixed handmade paper developed under Project REPLAN (REducingPLAstic from Nature).
After the pandemic, we need to shift towards a circular economy in which waste and pollution are removed from the system.