Why Is Circular Economy So Important?
Have You Ever Come Across “Circular Economy” and Wonder What It Is?
According to WHO, circular economy has 2 main types:
(1) Resource oriented, focus on the need for closed loops of material flows and reduced consumption of virgin resources
(2) Going beyond managing resources to incorporate additional dimensions (e.g. changing models of consumption)
Circular Economy and Linear Economy in Aquaculture:
Simply put, circular economy is a concept of closing the loop of resources by better utilising, recycling, or reusing them. Comparing with the linear economy, circular economy helps in waste reduction and utilise the available resources better. In 2020, Singapore generated about 5.88 million tonnes of solid waste. Although there is a reduction of waste generated over the years, at this rate,
Lifespan of Landfill will be up by 2035
With limited resources in Singapore, we must reduce waste and adopt the circular economy approach to ensure the sustainability of our mankind. The perception and behaviour of consumers, producers and decision-makers need to change before tangible results can be seen. Researchers led by WMG, University of Warwick, have concluded that embracing circular economy strategies would be the most desirable way for the global economy to recover and transition to a low-carbon economy.
What are some ways we can create a circular economy?
- Shift in Consumption Patterns (Recycling, Reuse, Recycle)
- Utilisation of Renewable Energy Sources
- Prevention of Waste (including designing out waste in products)
Many operations require heavy consumption of energy, water and other resources. Especially in Singapore, these resources are less available, thus driving up the cost of production. Innovation is the key for companies to incorporate the circular economy approach to reduce and reuse the waste produced.
“To protect habitats, food production must not be wasteful or inefficient.”
At Nature's Hug, our farming system developed by our parent company, Blue Aqua, is energy-efficient, zero-waste, zero-water exchange and sustainable.
With this farming system, we can create a circular economy in aquaculture where waste is transformed into other forms of food, energy, and byproducts for the next consumer. Our recirculating aquaculture system is capable of producing multi-species products sustainably. The presence of biological filters also reduces energy consumption significantly.
Why is Circular Economy Important?
1. Reduce Waste
Waste can become a resource. As mentioned earlier, the landfill in Singapore will be filled by 2035. Having too much waste can be a very serious issue to the environment and the health of the people. These problems are more obvious in less developed countries, where many reside near landfills are concern with health effects like cancer and birth outcomes.
If more companies and individual adopt the circular economy approach, less waste will be pilled up, promoting the sustainability for our future. Additionally, better utilising our resources will help to reduce energy consumption and ultimately reduce CO2 emission to the environment.
2. Increase Resource Productivity
Adapting to the circular economy means more resources can be preserved and reused. Materials or nutrients that are previously required to create new products can now be replaced with existing resources. Reusing and recycling materials results in an increase in resource productivity, fully utilising the resources.
3. Job Opportunities
According to a study conducted by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey, shifting to circular economy can potentially create 7,000 – 13,000 new job opportunities for people in Denmark. Consistent with other studies, circular economy can positively impact the economy with 0.2% – 3% jobs creation. Closing the loop in the economy means more people are required to work, such as innovating better practices, reducing or recycling the waste produced.
To really achieve a sustainable circular economy, both production and consumption practices have to adapt. Companies should find ways to close the loop, reusing waste and reducing resources consumption. While consumers should make conscious decisions to reduce, reuse or recycle in their daily lives.