Recycling waste vs waste in a circular economy

Image is from https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/greenbiz-4-new-circular-economy-businesses-started-by-hong-kong-moms/

14/04/2023 by Eco logic

By definition, recycling is converting waste into reusable material. But recycling starts at the end of the process when we dispose of the item we are using. On the other hand, the circular economy principles challenge us to consider the whole process from the beginning. It means that the circular economy is all about avoiding creating waste and pollution of any kind. Realistically seen, recycling as waste management is not and won't be enough to contribute to the treatment of all the increasing amount of waste in the world that is produced.

Recycling is a needed process when the waste is already created, but it has limitations and not all items we are not using can be recycled. We need to strive, especially the scientific community, in addressing this, working in direction of the products to be designed in a way that they can later be reused, repaired and remanufactured. Also, educators must put an effort to educate children from a younger age. Sharing examples of why the process of taking raw materials from the Earth, creating some products and then throwing them away is not a solution is a good start! The Earth's resources are not limitless. Show them first, where all this waste goes, landfills and incinerators(at best) and then simple solutions how they can start living more sustainably.

Circle Lab project is an Erasmus+ Project implemented in Sweden, Spain, Macedonia, Italy and Lithuania. It is a good practice in teaching high school students about the principles of circular economy through games, interactive articles and videos and waste management is one of the topics covered in these activities.

In the project, there are 9 partners: Mälardalen University as coordinator and Rudbeckianska gymnasiet from Sweden, Universidade da Coruña Advanced Scientific Research Centre (CICA) from Spain, Consorzio Scuola Comunità Impresa (CSCI) and SC Sviluppo chimica from Italy, Eco Logic and SOU Orde Chopela from Macedonia, Kauno Dainavos progimnazija and Non-Formal learning club from Lithuania.