‘The UK Government must recognise the Circular Economy as the key to reaching Net Zero’

May 17, 2023

With ASKAR SHEIBANI

CEO, Comtek Network Systems UK and chair, DBF

The Circular Economy is simply the common sense which our ancestors applied routinely in their daily lives.

Definition of the Circular Economy:

“Designing products to be more durable, reusable, repairable, and recyclable, and therefore kept in circulation for as long as possible. Beyond product design innovations, it also means changing the way we consume and use goods and services, and rethinking consumerism as a society”.

Unfortunately, most manufacturers have opted for a linear economy purely to extract as much profit as possible, despite its heavy costs to the environment and human wellbeing.

Definition of the Linear Economy:

“The linear economy is the term for our current globalized economy in which we extract resources, manufacture products, use them, and then throw them away. It is based on mass production and consumerist lifestyles of short-life disposable products such as various electronics products, mobile phones, fashion items such as trainers and clothes, and luxury items such as washing machines and cars.”

The waste and damage the Linear economy is causing to the earth is colossal. Some of these culprit manufacturers are major brand names in telecommunications, fashion, and consumer electronics.

If we are serious about to tackling the climate emergency, we must produce strict legislation to disincentivise the manufacturers and force them to change and embrace the Circular Economy.

The “Right to Repair” must be enshrined within the UK’s legislation. Those manufacturers that are deliberately making their products difficult to be repaired must be penalised. 

The textile and fashion industries are the world’s largest polluters; more than all the flights and maritime shipping combined. It is responsible for about 10% of the world’s pollution, creates 92 million tons of waste and consumes about 80 trillion litres of water.

Sadly, the vast majority of all waste, especially E-waste, is dumped in poor developing countries, polluting their environment with toxic materials.

Surely the UK government should wake up and make effective environmental policies to rid the UK of the harms of the Linear Economy.

The Circular Economy will not only help the UK with its Net Zero target but will also create much-needed sustainable jobs in repairs and maintenance. Extending the life cycle of products, re-manufacturing, repurposing, and reusing products will dramatically reduce cost and waste.

Implementing and incentifying the Circular Economy is much more pragmatic, sustainable, and simple, as it will bring a huge amount of prosperity and economic benefit to our communities.