There were no waste in wildlife if it were not man. Because something what remains after the vital activity of some organisms becomes food for others. Many closed cycles work simultaneously, so our planet is capable of self-cleaning.
In contrast to natural cyclic processes, people orerates linearly: they took raw materials, processed them to form a certain product (they created many byproducts), use them and threw them away. What are the main disadvantages of such linear processes? First, raw materials tendency to finish, and secondly, unprocessed "waste products" which people accumulate, poisoning their habitat.
For example, petroleum products (and oil is not an infinite resource!) Produce infamous plastic bags that are used for their intended purpose for only a short time, after which they are likely to pollute the soil or water for hundreds of years.
At the same time, science has long-established direction of imitation of nature - biomimicry, biomimetics or bionics. Such a conscious copying of the wisdom of nature and the study of its processes in order to understand how and why its mechanisms works, allowed to develop fundamentally new engineering solutions and materials.
For example, in May 2019, Airbus aircraft manufacturing concern began testing an uncrewed aerial vehicle with a wing design similar to albatross wing. And for a long time, popular hook-and-pile fasteners have been developed following the example of the Alpine thistle.
Is now it not a such time to copy the natural approaches in the economy?
Circular economy: moving to new rails
What if the way of producing the goods will be change so that they all can be recycled and parts or materials are used in a circle again? In a fact, such an economical model was already been launched, and it is called a circular economy.
According to the principles of a closed loop economy, it is necessary:
- use renewable energy and biodegradable raw materials
- reuse the same materials without taking new resources from nature, thus moving from natural resources to man-made resources
- develop products in such a way that their components can be easily replaced, updated and reused, because the generation of waste is a consequence of poor product design
- overview your approach to property - do not buy things for yourself, but to take them for using from the manufacturer, to return again for upgrading or processing, because we do not need the goods themselves, but their functions
- keep in touch with the manufacturer during using of his product, thus, in effect, making the transition from goods to services for their maintenance
So you can start the "technological" cycle and get rid of a large pile of waste and attenuation of resources. The side effects of the cyclic approach are to reduce toxic emissions into the environment and improve the quality and durability of products. And we can finally give nature the opportunity to recover.
Many companies and startups abroad and in Ukraine are already moving onto the rails of the circular economy. As often as not it is not very large manufacturers, because new small companies are easier to restructure. And there is another imitation of nature - as the biocapacity of organisms leads to the harmonious existence of many closed cycles, so the absence of monopolies and decentralization in the economy gives stability.
So, Angus Graham from Wales appreciates with the idea of cyclical production and in 2012 founded Splosh company, offering concentrates of household chemicals in water-soluble capsules that are easily dissolved at home with water. This allows to reduce waste up to 95%.
In Ukraine, car sharing begins to spread when a car that you do not need to service yourself can be used for an hourly fee, and bicycle rental companies. They also provide services for responsible storage and maintenance of private bicycle machines, as well as arrange sales of bicycles being in usage, giving them a second life. Such approaches in the spirit of a circular economy are revolutionary for our country and require a change in the thinking of those who use these services.
Can the production of household chemicals in Ukraine be built on the principles of a circular economy?
Principles of a closed-cycle economy also works in the production of laundry detergents and cleaning products, of course, as the above-mentioned Splosh has proven. What is needed for this?
- Think over the energy costs of the manufacturer and carriers to significantly reduce capacity on the environment.
- Develop the composition of the funds so that the residues that fall into the stock, quickly decomposed by microorganisms.
- Create a biodegradable packaging or packaging suitable for recycling or reuse, and help the consumer to properly dispose of the container.
- Make it possible to buy detergents in own container.
For large players in the Ukrainian market of household chemicals, such changes are quite possible in the future, and the first steps in the development of phosphate-free formulations have already been successfully made. Young participants in this market has an advantage of immediately planning their activities so that they have less impact on the environment. For its part, "DeLaMark" company, which is a leader in the production of eco-certified products for washing, cleaning and caring for hair and skin, also gradually introduces the principles of such an economy of the future.
Are you ready to support these changes on the path to harmony with nature?