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Circular Economy will help economic revival, create jobs: Amitabh Kant

The Niti Aayog CEO emphasised on the need for developing and adopting a Circular Economy (CE) in the system, which will also help India post-COVID

The Niti Aayog CEO emphasised on the need for developing and adopting a Circular Economy (CE) in the system, which will also help India post-COVID.
  • Kant said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the vulnerabilities built into the present system

  • The new paradigm emphasises on taking a comprehensive view on products and processes to achieve minimisation of recourse use, he said

New Delhi: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant emphasised on the need for developing and adopting a Circular Economy (CE) in the system, which will also help India post-COVID. “The green recovery post-COVID would not just help us to tackle environmental challenges like climate change, it would also help economic recovery through creation of jobs and opportunities,” he added. Addressing the virtual ‘FICCI Circular Economy Symposium 2020’ on Thursday, Kant said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the vulnerabilities built into the present system. 

“The new paradigm emphasises on taking a comprehensive view on products and processes to achieve minimisation of recourse use. The world is increasingly becoming conscious to the patterns and efficiencies of resource usage. The convergence of different disciplines, including industrial ecology, environmental, sustainability, and end of life of products, have all evolved to an overarching vision of CE,” said Kant.

‘Scrap materials are not waste; recyclable material is a resource’

He further said that within the CE, material recycling offers a paradigm shift from the conventional recycling techniques of incineration and land filling by transforming EOL products, scraps and wastes into useful raw materials to be fed back to the economy instead of being disposed in landfills, etc. 

Kant added that the recycling industry is closely integrated in different commodity sectors driven by basic supply and demand. Material recycling is one of the building blocks of resource efficient Circular Economy. Many countries have initiated a way forward towards promoting the CE through organised recycling to attain sustainable development. “Scrap materials are not waste; recyclable material is a resource. They have an important role in economy and sustainable development,” added Kant. 

Highlighting the potential of plastic recycling, Kant said that managing plastic waste continues to be a challenge and within this segment, the management of multi layered plastic is a bigger challenge. 

“Domestic consumption is about 15 million tons and estimated recycling capacity is just 2.35 million tons. Therefore, recycling continues to be in the informal and unregistered units. Low household segregation and weak collection and transportation system that supports the segregation inhibit the recycling of plastic and high plastic recycling rates need to be achieved in an environmentally sound manner,” he noted. 

‘We must take a holistic value chain approach’

Complimenting FICCI on the release of ‘Strategies for Sustainable Plastics Packaging in India- A USD 100 billion Opportunity till 2030’, Kant said that in India, we consume around 10 million tons of plastic packaging each year amounting to $13 billion in value. “Currently, we are capturing only a fraction of this value due to number of reasons like poor packaging design, low wastes collection and inefficient recycling, etc. If the current state continues, in the next 10 years we will be losing around $133 billion,” he added. 

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He also said that the report presents an approach to capture $100 billion lost through eight high value interventions. To realise this value, we must take a holistic value chain approach from reducing consumption in designing better packaging to reusing as much as we can,” he asserted. 

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