Covid-19: A catalyst for a waste management revolution?
David Rakowski, a PA circular economy expert, is quoted in an article discussing if COVID-19 could be an opportunity for waste management reform?
The article explains how before the COVID-19 outbreak, progress was being made to change the waste management sector with reforms typically based around the circular economy. Conceived in the 1970s, the circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear or 'make, use, and dispose' economy.
David describes the circular economy as a “very powerful tool in a toolbox”.
He adds: “It can be used to unlock things like the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including climate change.
“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation thinks about 45% of emissions come from how we make and use products.
“Clearly the only way you’re going to reduce this is by moving to a circular model, so it ticks-off loads of SDGs.
“And businesses are not doing anything for the sake of becoming circular, they’re doing something because they want to address things like SDGs.
“So what’s their biggest hammer, it’s the circular economy.
“That’s how I rationalise it as a concept, I look at it as a tool, and it’s a tool that brings a lot of benefits.”
The article continues to note that in recent years, business initiatives, national governments, and economic unions have pushed policies to allow organisations to fully utilise this tool. The EU has been pushing this concept through its Circular Economy Action Plan.
David, who also sits on the UN Global Compact’s expert advisory panel, sees COVID-19 as an “opportunity for organisations to reinvent… as they come out of this”.
He adds: “Look at what we’ve just done, we’ve moved the whole workforce to home working in the space of a few days.
“If we can do that, what else can we do on how we want to transform, and I think it’s given us a bit of a can-do attitude on solving some challenges.”