World is using highest ever 100 billion tonnes of natural resources per year
India creates around 62 million tonnes per year of waste out of which only 20 percent of it gets treated.
We are consuming 100 billion tonnes of natural resources per year. The consumption has increased by more than 8 percent in the last two years -- from 3 billion tonnes in 2015 to 100.6 billion in 2017.
But, the interesting part is how much are we returning back to the Earth? A Global Circularity Gap report mentions that the share of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass feeding into the global economy and getting reused has declined to 8.6 percent from 9.1 percent in two years.
Concept of Circular Economy?
A linear economy with “take, make and waste” approach works by extracting resources, taking it to production, distribution, consumption and finally dumping off the waste. On the other hand, a circular economy plans to make the system wealthy by including recycling. It builds and rebuilds overall system health.
A circular economy aims to build long term -resilience, generates business, economic opportunities and provide environmental and societal benefits.
Economy and Waste:
The human population has doubled since 1970 and the global economy has grown fourfold. The report mentions that the global use of materials is expected to grow to 170-184 billion tonnes by 2050.
Cristianne Close, the head of WWF Markets Practice, said: "Our current economic and financial systems are driving unsustainable consumption, and degrading the natural environment."
The author of the study mentions that wealthy nations consume 10 times more resources and produce more waste as compared to developing countries.
Waste management in India:
A 2017 report ranks India to be the third largest garbage generator. The waste in India is expected to reach 436 million tonnes by 2050. Top cities creating the highest amount of garbage are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Talking about waste management in India, a report released by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2009 indicates that around only 20 percent of the total produced waste is treated in India.
The report talks about three ways we can bridge the circularity gap -- collection and sharing of data globally; translating global trends into national pathways, and building a globally diverse and inclusive coalition for action.
It also mentions three reasons for the current negative trend that include high rates of extraction and low levels of end-of-use processing and cycling. And these are the outcomes of the “takemake-waste” tradition of the linear economy.
Marc de Wit, the lead author of the report, said: "No country is meeting the basic needs of its citizens while also operating within the physical boundaries of our planet."
The report suggests shifting to smarter ways of consumption. A few ways we can shift to smart consumption includes extending the lifespan of goods and thereby decreasing the need to buy them frequently.
Second, increasing material efficiency through new technology and design. Third and last suggestion includes reducing the total number and volume of goods needed through promotion and adopting a sharing business model.