Firms urged to adopt circular economy

The circular economy advocates sustainable production, reasoned consumption and efficient waste management.

THE Environmental Management Agency (Ema) has called on local companies to adopt the circular economy in order to protect the environment.

Speaking at the CEO Africa Annual Roundtable recently in Victoria Falls, Ema Matabeleland North provincial manager Chipo Mpofu-Zuze emphasised on the need for recycling, redesigning and reusing products, not only for environmental protection but for economic development.

A circular economy is an economic system based on the reuse and regeneration of materials or products, especially as a means of continuing production in a sustainable or environmentally-friendly way.

The circular economy advocates sustainable production, reasoned consumption and efficient waste management.

“What we need to do as companies in Zimbabwe is to embrace a circular economy and this is a model of consumption and production that has as little impact as possible on the environment,” Mpofu-Zuze said.

“It’s unavoidable to have waste, but our concern is to say, what else can we do with this waste before finally disposing it into the environment?

 “We are also saying that the circular economy reduces materials and energy as well as waste through reducing, recycling, repairing, redesigning and reuse, combining economic and environmental gains.

“So, we are saying we are not only looking at the economic gains, but we are also looking at the gains of the environment through embracing the other principles.”

She warned that there would be long term effects on the environment as waste material stays long in the environment.

“And again, I will always remind you, our production or our processes are based on the environment. So if we damage the environment, it means we are also limiting or reducing our means of production.

“In the circular economy, we focus on reducing, using and recycling. Design, production and consumption are all based around sustainability. We must always think of tomorrow when it comes to our environment,” she added.

Recycling trash by picking it up and selling it, or buying it and converting it into profitable materials, has become a booming business in Zimbabwe as community-based recycling organisations, which handpick litter, quadrupled in the last few years, now picking up 15% of all plastic waste generated in the country.

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