What is Circular Economy mentioned by PM Narendra Modi in His Speech at National Conference on Environment Ministers ?
Indian PM Narendra Modi referred to ‘Circular Economy’ during his latest address at the National Conference of Environmental Ministers underway in Gujarat. He called for promoting Circular Economy describing it as a part of Indian culture and traditions for generations.
PM Narendra Modi emphasised on the need to follow recycling practices and inculcating them in our daily lives.
According to the European Parliament, “The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. The process also ensures the extension of life cycle of the products”.
Simply said, it implies bringing wastage to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its useful life, its components are possibly preserved within the economy. These can be productively applied repeatedly, adding more value.
The circular economy consists of three main principles: 1) Eliminating waste and pollution, 2) Circulating products and materials 3) Regeneration of nature.
Why Adopt a Circular Economy?
In recent years, several nations and NGOs have undertaken steps for transitioning to a circular economy from a linear economy.
The linear model focuses on collecting raw materials and then transforming them into products for customer use, which are eventually discarded as waste. The traditional model does not prioritise ecological footprint but profit over it.
The increasing world population and with it, the demand for raw materials has immensely pressured our environment.
The supply of raw materials is finite while its usage has also severe consequences for nature, resulting in climate change and an increase in CO2 emissions.
The circular economy practically advocates a smarter use of raw materials, which can lower CO2 emissions.
Reducing environmental stress, enhancing the security of the raw material supply, boosting competitiveness, encouraging innovation, boosting economic growth, and creating jobs are just a few of the advantages that could result from moving toward a more circular economy.
In 2020, the European Union introduced circular economy action plans which aimed at sustainable product design, reducing waste and empowering consumers.
India’s Approach To Circular Economy
India is a developing nation with a huge population exceeding 130 billion. The annual waste generation of the country amounts to 62 million tons, and Urban India contributes more than half of it — about 42 million tons. The increase in the annual rate of e-waste generation is an even bigger concern — with 10.14 lakh tons in 2019-20.
In recent years, Narendra Modi-led Indian government has undertaken several steps to ensure the transition from a linear to a circular economy such as notifying various rules, such as the Plastic Waste Management Rules, e-Waste Management Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, Metals Recycling Policy, etc.
According to a report, “Adopting circular economy practices can help generate savings of over $624 billion by 2050 across sectors such as food, agriculture, construction, and mobility in India.
NITI Aayog has undertaken several initiatives for sustainable economic growth such ensuring the transition to a circular economy”.
According to an official statement by NITI Aayog, “Direct initiatives were taken to address the challenges in the utilization of waste as resource and to evolve a perspective on the recycling industry in India”.
The statement further read, “To expedite the transition of the country from a linear to a circular economy, 11 committees have been formed—to be led by the concerned line ministries and comprising officials from MoEFCC and NITI Aayog, domain experts, academics and industry representatives”.
Indian PM Narendra Modi in his speech asked the state environment ministers to ensure the transition to a circular economy. The latest reiteration also reminds India’s dedication to environmental conservation.