Inclusive Circular Economy

Inclusive Circular Economy

News: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a campaign to drive an inclusive circular economy as part of its initiative to promote sustainability. 

What is Circular economy?
• A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design.
• It replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals which impair reuse and return to the biosphere.
• It aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models.

What are the key features of campaign?
• The project is a scale-up of existing partnership under UNDP’s flagship Plastic Waste Management Programme to develop a sustainable model for plastic waste management in India
• End-to-end management of plastic waste by promoting - Segregation of waste at the source, Collection of the segregated waste and setting up Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for recycling all kinds of plastic waste.
• Partnership with the Private sector -  Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) will also help build the capacities of Urban Local Bodies for adopting the MRFs or Swachhata Kendra
• The project is a collaboration between municipal corporations, corporates, Safai Saathis, and people to work together for cleaner and greener cities.
• The project will reach out to 100,000 households for segregation at the source

What are the challenges?
• Despite government initiatives, there is underwhelming response. Lack of a clear vision towards the end goal of India’s circular economy mission. 
• The Industries are reluctant in adopting the circular economy model due to supply chain limitations, lack of incentives to invest, complex recycling processes and lack of information to support participation in reusing/ recycling/re-manufacturing processes. 
• Lack of awareness about the Concept of Circular economy itself amongst the people. 
• India's infrastructure is not well-suited to support a circular economy. For example, there is a lack of recycling facilities, which makes it difficult to recycle and reuse materials.
• Significant capital investment is required. 

What are the government initiatives?
• The 2022-23 Budget recognized the importance of sustainable growth and in sync with a circular economy, the  government formulated:
• Battery Waste Management Rules 2022
• Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022
• e-Waste Management Rules 2022
• These rules set out target waste disposal standards for manufacturers, producers, importers, and bulk consumers, along with enabling transactions among stakeholders for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates.
• Vehicle Scrappage Policy 2022 - Private vehicles older than 20 years will be deregistered from June 1, 2024, if they fail the fitness test or their registration certificate is not renewed.
• Niti Aayog along with the EU has prepared a strategy paper on ‘Resource Efficiency’
• While globally, Germany and Japan have made the ‘Circular Economy’ part of their economic planning.

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