Environmental pollution and degradation have become a major challenge to most developing countries many of which are found in Africa. Keeping major cities in Africa clean is a “Herculean” task that requires huge amount of resources with respect to financial, human, natural and political will. Circular economy is a system of resources utilization where reduction, reuse and recycling of elements prevails: minimize production to a bare minimum, and when it's necessary to use the product, go for the reuse of the elements that cannot return to the environment. Simply put, Circular economy ensures that, by-products of one production line becomes the raw produce of another production and in effect manage and minimize pollution by reusing materials which would have played the role of a pollutant. There are ten principles that define how circular economy should work:
- Valorization: harness energy from waste that can’t be recycled.
- Functionality economy: circular economy aims to eliminate the sale of products in many cases to establish a system of rental property. When the product completes its main function returns to the company, where it is dismantled for reusing the valid parts.
- Energy from renewable sources: elimination of fossil fuels to produce the product, reuse and recycle.
- Eco-design: considers and integrates in its conception the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product.
- Industrial and territorial ecology: establishment of an industrial organizational method in a territory characterized by an optimized management of stocks and flows of materials, energy and services.
By: Dr. Ebenezer Osei Jones