Converting raw materials to finished products, later discarded as waste, is how the unsustainable linear economy works. The 13 million tons of plastic waste being dumped into oceans every year is one of the most toxic fallouts of this economy. But a circular economy that relies on recycling can yield economic benefits of up to $1.3 trillion by 2030.
The UAE is already a part of the World Economic Forum’s Scale 360 initiative to create a circular economy. It will be home to one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy facilities. Now the country’s circular economy council has approved 22 policies to accelerate the creation of a circular economy in the UAE’s food, manufacturing, infrastructure, and transport sectors. The council’s meeting also put the spotlight on eight innovation trends for a circular economy, including waste-to-resource, internet of waste, AI, remanufacturing, and bio-based materials.
The council also identified upcycling textile waste, developing AI for waste management, and making new products from electronic waste, among 16 activities to create a circular economy. Her excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, presided over the meeting and said that 45% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cars, clothes, food, and other products. She highlighted how a circular economy could mitigate climate crises by supporting emission cuts.
Also, Read how ADDED and GE join forces to create a circular economy in the UAE here.
The council’s Circular Economy Policy Committee also held workshops with government and private sectors, as well as international partners, to implement the policy in manufacturing, green infrastructure, transportation, and food production and consumption. Anis Nassar from the World Economic Forum also briefed the council on the Scale 360 initiative, which brings global partners together to fast-track the adoption of a circular economy for the fourth industrial revolution.
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