Tearfund is an organisation that works tirelessly to help communities around the world escape the very worst effects of poverty and disaster. The same people are facing both of these troubles and Tearfund have great ideas as to how they can overcome them.
I recently attended an event in the parliament which was to launch Tearfund’s “Virtuous Circle” report on the circular economy. Many of you may be wondering what a circular economy is.
“Currently, we have a primarily linear economy. So we make a product – for example, a toaster or a mobile phone – we use it and, when it breaks or there’s a better model available, we throw it away. At this point, all of the resources (energy, metals, water) used to make that phone are lost. In Europe, an average of 95 per cent of a product’s material and energy value is wasted in this way. A circular economy would address these issues, by maximising the efficiency with which resources are used at each stage of the product life cycle. This is partly about what happens to a product at the end of its life, but it is also about eliminating waste and inefficiency throughout the production and consumption chain, from reducing the amount of time cars and machinery sit idle, to increasing the scope for repairability or modular re-manufacturing of used components.”
The report has many key recommendations. One which I find interesting is:
- Creating the right enabling environment for circular economy industries has the potential to create jobs, improve social outcomes the poorest and reduce poverty
As the spokesperson for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform I have often spoken in favour of a shift to a circular economy. However, it is important to note there is a lot of work to be done before we get to the planning stages to create a circular economy for Scotland.
A circular economy would have many benefits to Scotland. By eliminating waste, the circular economy will be good for increasing productivity and economic growth, improving the quality and quantity of employment, and saving lives, by reducing environmental impacts such as water pollution, air pollution and climate change.
For example, based on an analysis of three sectors (transport, food and the built environment), it is estimated that pursuing a circular economy would increase European GDP by seven per cent by 2030.
There are many benefits included within a circular economy and now is the time for change….
You can download the Tearfund “Virtuous Circle” report by clicking here