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The role of recyclers in the actualization of a circular economy

  • By Grace Akinyi
  • February 19, 2021
  • 0 Comment

The concept of a circular economy has regained attention especially related to efforts to achieve a more sustainable society. It then goes without saying that a true circular economy will prioritize both recycling and re-using which entails reuse and re-marketing, repair, re-manufacturing and technological updating of goods.

Recyclers have been identified as the most significant key players in this sector. With worldwide solid waste generation expected to increase roughly 70% to 3.4 billion metric tons by 2050, recycling will have a significant role to execute any legislative package (European Bureau for Conservation and Development)

More recycling companies will need to innovate better product designs, prioritize renewable resources, use waste as a resource, preserve and extend what is already made, collaborate across the value chain and industrial symbiosis; all in the name of maintaining the value of products for the realization of a circular economy.

With the circular economy having a clear global dimension, it is broadly acknowledged that a circular economy approach could provide significant cost savings for most companies if transboundary and cooperation on a global level are incorporated to address underlying issues.

Modern economic systems being developed and implemented by governments, and international organizations such as IKEA, What Design Can Do, World Economic Forum and UN environment programme will go a long way in realizing the potential of new innovations.

In 2017, a new waste framework directive setting ambitious targets for the plastic ban in Kenya was approved by the parliament. This gave recyclers an opportunity to think out of the box. Within no time, they had developed biodegradable plastics with the development of PET products still in progress.

The main objective is to feed materials back into the economy thereby capturing the value of the materials. And this can only be done through an organized collection of waste material generated by industries and households and processing them into secondary raw materials.

Kenya Climate Innovation Centre(KCIC), in partnership with What Design Can Do believes that new recycling innovators have designs, projects and ideas that can help countries transition into a more circular economy by collecting waste materials and processing into secondary raw materials.

Do you believe your project venture, big or small has a way of contributing to the circular economy? Submit your proposal or project here: https://www.kenyacic.org/