If you tried to remember what you were doing on August 1, 2018, could you do it?
At a global level, this date was of great relevance for the environment as it took place on “Earth Overshoot Day”, that is, the day on which humanity theoretically consumed all the resources available for the year.
According to the Global Footprint Network organization, this event is alarming since due to the increase in the world population we are consuming more raw materials than the planet can generate.
In the case of Mexico, this happened on August 29, 2018. If the whole world consumed in the same way that Mexicans do, 2.1 planets are needed to cover with the natural resources demanded. That is why, for some years now, efforts to incorporate the circular economy model into the cycle of human consumption have become a priority.
Raw materials such as oil, gas, metals and minerals, among others, are essential ingredients of our economy. The future of the planet requires more and better sources of clean supplies. In this sense, waste they become a valuable source of reusable resources. Companies and governments alike today enjoy the benefits of adopting this model as part of their commitment to the environment.
Here are some examples of these measures.
Transform waste into energy
Thanks to waste management, they can be used as an energy source, thus avoiding the use of non-renewable resources. For example, in the Netherlands, the Joure de Jacobs Douwe Egberts coffee plant uses the waste left after roasting the coffee beans as fuel for the plant's boiler, this provides steam to produce coffee and generate a closed cycle that avoids the need for gas.
While in Arras, in the north of France, the energy value of municipal wastewater is used to heat the swimming pools of an aquatic center, thus avoiding the use of gas and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions .
More and more companies are taking advantage of waste as raw material in your production processes. By taking an eco-design approach, a commitment is made to pay special attention to a product's environmental impact throughout its life cycle, from production to disposal.
Brands like Tribord, which developed a surf boot made with recycled oyster shells, or Adidas, which recently launched its first pair of tennis shoes made from plastic waste recovered from the sea; They have taken a significant first step by incorporating recycled or reused materials into their products. Eco-design also contemplates the reuse, remanufacturing and / or recovery of a product or its components at the end of its useful life.
The circular economy should not only encourage companies to seek alternative sources that ensure their supply of raw materials, it should also encourage them to rethink their manufacturing processes and commit to the disposal of waste generated by their products. The circular economy breaks schemes, reinvents models and generates more sustainable businesses, in which you can give a second life to Plastic bottles, Glass bottles, paper and paperboard; even organic waste for the planet.
Remember that reducing, reusing and recycling help to slow down climate change and minimize the consumption of new resources by giving them a second life.
Information of Living Circular Powered by Veolia
The Veolia group is the world benchmark in the optimized management of resources. Present on five continents with around 169,000 employees, the group creates and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that favor the sustainable development of cities and industries. With its three complementary activities, Veolia contributes to the development of access to resources, and to the preservation and renewal of available resources.
In 2017, the Veolia group supplied drinking water to 96 million people and provided sanitation service to 62 million, produced about 55 million MWh and recovered 47 million tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved in 2017 a consolidated turnover of 25.12 billion euros.