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The circular economy is about recycling everything that we produce and treating materials like they’re finite. This is something that is achievable for your business. Processing materials requires energy, causing pollution. A zero-waste approach encourages the redesign of resource life cycle so that all products are reused, limiting pollution.

Based on sourcing, manufacturing, distributing and using ‘efficiently’ for reuse, the following tips could help your business close the loop and become more circular:

1. Mix with the right people: Having a designated sustainability team may drive projects, sustainability must be driven from the heart!  

2. Use the right metrics: Consider a value framework to measure performance and returns.

3. Solve customers’ problems: Consider developing a product recycling programme – upcycle unwanted products to fill a need.

4. Product as services: Invest in innovation and think about products you could lease!

5. Be ready for backlash: Not everyone understands that sustainability can be profitable, so be sure to engage your team, and have a clear message for your stakeholders.  

By modifying each stage in the economic cycle (from production to use) and designing goods to be recycled, businesses can regenerate waste much like an ecosystem. Designing goods to be reused and consume less energy is becoming the norm!

To learn more about how to grow economically but not harmfully watch this.

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Learn how you can tackle the plastic pollution problem with the circular economy model

Categories: Green Tips
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When it comes to circular economy, our friends at WRAP explain it best: a circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

Credit: WRAP circular economy

The concept is simple as it brings you back to the 3Rs: reducing materials and waste, reusing products, and recycling materials. We have compiled 5 tips that can be used by any individual to start the conversation and start taking actions.

  1. Understanding the circular business model:

There are currently 5 circular business models that form the basis of a sustainable business: a business that focuses on closing loops so that there is no waste. By understanding how these business models work, we can identify companies that adopt these models, allowing us to be more conscious about who we choose to support and engage with.

  1. Refuse single-use items:

Single-use items simply do not work well in the circular economy model! The circular economy model aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. The traditional approach of “take-make-dispose” should be a thing of the past. Do these 24 examples of ridiculous plastic packaging look familiar to you? Try to refuse them the next time you encounter them, or take photos of them and share on social media with the hashtag #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

  1. Get creative:

Ask yourself, “can I give this a second life?” before tossing anything into the bin. Turn waste into resources where all biodegradable material returns to nature and the non-biodegradable items are reused. If you have plastic bottles lying around your home, try any of these 20 creative ideas to breathe new life into these empty plastic bottles.

Credit: lynnpetersson.se

  1. Collaborate:

Teamwork and collaboration create wonderful things. If the waste industry had set many household waste collection systems for you to follow, chances are it is designed to maximize the quality of recycling. Effective waste segregation means that less waste goes to landfill which will make it cheaper and better for people and the environment. Here are 5 types of waste classification for you to understand what you can and cannot recycle.

Credit: Shutterstock

  1. Show your support. Take action:

For far too long, companies have been forcing plastic packaging into our lives and our planet and communities pay the real price. Massive floating islands of plastics three times the size of France are found floating in the Pacific Ocean. They threaten wildlife species, pollute the sea and can persist in the environment for centuries. You can make a difference by demanding corporations move away from single-use plastics altogether by adding your signature to support petitions.

There is a reason why more and more researchers are tapping into providing more evidence for the economic, environmental and societal benefits that a circular economy transition could deliver. The world is waking to the problem and this is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

We at PATA are committed to be a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within Asia Pacific. Read more on our plastics brainstorming session that took place at the PATA HQ here.

To read more on circular economy, click here

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plastic pollution, volunteers, plastic ocean

Volunteers clearing plastic from a beach in Mumbai, India. Photo by Hemanshi Kamani/Hindustan Times

Despite the increasing concern about the issue, there is little sign that plastic use is falling. Half of all the plastic ever made was produced in the last 13 years, says investment house Hermes, while output is set to increase by 40% in the next decade.

The plastics problem is a stark illustration of the problems of a global economy that is “overwhelmingly linear”. The linear economy sees goods produced in a “take, make and waste” model that assumes resources are essentially infinite and will always be available to make new products.

The circular economy requires a significant shift in mindset, starting with the design process, which must ensure that goods not only have minimal environmental impact in terms of the use of water, energy and materials, but also that they can easily be repurposed or recycled through a “cradle-to-cradle” approach.

Read the full article here.

By Mike Scott for Forbes.

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Waste plastic bottles and other types of plastic waste at the waste disposal site in Thilafushi, part of the Maldives. Credit: Shutterstock/ Mohamed Abdulraheem

 

There’s no love lost for plastic packaging. Whether it’s complicated recycling instructions on the products we buy, startling images of the impacts on wildlife or simply the economic value lost through waste, plastics have been climbing the international agenda for years. So how do 8 million tonnes of plastic still end up in the ocean each year?

Searching for the right solutions

The urgency of the issue has led to brands, governments, NGOs and celebrities promoting a host of solutions. Reusable packaging is part of the answer, and shopping bags, water bottles and coffee cups have become popular purchases for those trying to do their bit. This works to replace certain types of packaging, but think about all the other pieces of plastic we come into contact with every single day. Plastic film can keep food fresher for longer, and wrappers ensure medical equipment is safe for patients. In many cases, it wouldn’t be hygienic, convenient or feasible to go fully reusable.

Read the full article on innovations such as packaging inspired by nature, made from food waste and more here.

By Joe Iles for GreenBiz.

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