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Since the industrial revolution, human society has always adopted the "linear production and consumption model" in which raw materials are extracted from the natural environment and processed into commodities, and commodities are directly discarded after being purchased and used. This model continues to consume the limited resources of the earth, and with the use of commodities, the amount of waste generated is increasing and the types of waste become more and more complex. The final disposal methods of burying and incineration also bring about the impact on the global environment. Great pollution and impact. With the deterioration of the earth's ecology, the accompanying climate change and the environmental pollution caused by a large amount of waste have rapidly increased in severity and urgency, the survival of mankind is facing enormous challenges. Therefore, how to change the current linear production and consumption model, reduce pollution and restore the earth's ecology is an important issue for maintaining human civilization and sustainable development.
"Circular economy" is an economic development model based on the continuous recycling of resources. Each stage of the linear economy model is integrated through "recycling", "remanufacturing/refurbishing", "reusing", and "maintenance". , "Sharing" and other practices, forming a cycle of "resources, products, renewable resources", so that the entire manufacturing system generates very little waste, and even achieves the ultimate goal of zero waste, reducing the earth's resource consumption and pollution.
The EU system moves towards a closed loop
Europe is the enlightenment zone for the global launch of a "circular economy", and the relevant EU policies are even more global indicators. At present, the European Union has gradually begun to select 54 materials that can form a closed cycle in the circular economy, and construct the EU's recycling material application system, hoping to move towards the goal of "closed cycle and sustainable use" in the future.
The British Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which pioneered the concept of circular economy, analyzed the material flow of global plastic packaging materials. Approximately 78 million metric tons of plastic packaging materials are produced globally every year. After use (mostly used only once), 54% are processed ( 40% landfills, 14% incinerators), 32% enters the natural environment, and only 14% enters the recycling system. Of the 11 million tons of plastic entering the recycling system, another 3.15 million tons (about 4%) were lost in the classification, screening, and pelletizing process, and 6.2 million tons were used for non-packaging purposes. In the end, only 1.7 million tons (2%) of the 78 million tons of packaging plastics returned to the original plastic packaging application system.
In January 2018, the European Commission proposed the "EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy". Based on the material flow characteristics of the above-mentioned packaging materials, the EU proposed three practices to promote the formation of closed cycles of plastic packaging materials: First, Reduce the amount of plastic entering landfills and incinerators, and increase the recycling rate. Second, build an EU plastic secondary raw material usage system and expand recycling usage. Third, the use of raw materials should be decoupled from petrochemical sources as much as possible. From the above methods to build an innovative and sustainable plastics industry, it will bring economic growth and employment opportunities to Europe, and reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imports of fossil fuels.
International manufacturers take the lead in responding to plastic reduction
"Improving the rate of plastic recycling" is the solution to the closed cycle of plastic packaging materials. Under the global circular economy wave, 350 international brand manufacturers have promised that plastic packaging materials used in 2025 will be "recyclable" and "more "Sub-use" and "biodegradable" products are mainly used to reduce the amount of disposable packaging materials; 94 apparel brands around the world promise to increase the use of 25% recycled polyester pellets by 2025 and 100% recycled polyester by 2030 . International brand manufacturers have made great strides into the circular economy, and simultaneously require their upstream and downstream supply chains to jointly respond to plastic reduction and sustainable use of plastics, so that the environment and convenience can coexist.
In the electronics industry chain, Apple, a major mobile phone manufacturer, currently replaces 14 materials that require priority treatment with 100% recyclable or renewable materials, and increases the reuse rate of materials. The design side designs products for durable use and expands maintenance. The service provider network ensures the software compatibility between the new model and the old model. Collect various products through the "Apple Trade In" redemption program to extend their service life or recycle materials.
Source: Commercial Times
Source: Commercial Times