If you follow Greenpeace’s facebook pages, you may have come across a video explaining circular economy using a mobile phone as an example. Behind this video is a campaign, or rather a letter sent to Samsung on Greenpeace’s behalf, asking them to create a sustainable mobile phone. We wanted to learn more about this campaign and what the reasons behind it really were.
Greenpeace vs Samsung
For obvious reasons, Greenpeace and Samsung are not the best of friends and big tech companies like Samsung are not usually ill at ease when Greenpeace decides to pick an interest in them. So why such interest in Samsung ?
In 2016, Samsung released the infamous Galaxy Note s7. An uncountable amount of videos and photos of the burning Note sprung up on social media leading Samsung to recuperate its exploding products as quickly as possible. How could a multinational company of that size let such an important problem slip by, we do not know, but how it decided to manage it, we do know.
Rethink. Reuse. Recycle
By the end of February 2017, Greenpeace activists interrupted a press conference held by Samsung in Barcelona with the slogan « Rethink, Reuse, Recycle.«
The goal of their interruption was to emphasize the importance of the campaign and show Samsung why recycling the Galaxy Note s7 is crucial. The interruption was not random, Greenpeace chose the largest gathering of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona.
Since the beginning of 2017 (2 months), 6.4 million tons of electronic gadgets have already been thrown away. The United States alone failed to manage their electronic waste by throwing out 3.4 million tonnes in 2012 and recycling barely 29%. Unfortunately, it is important to know that the vast majority of phones sold today contain materials that are extremely toxic to the environment and the over-consumption of these substances are of great concern to scientists.
Changing today’s model
Since the Industrial Revolution, an economic model has been put in place for and by the food industry all over the world. The extraction of abundant natural resources, scientific discoveries (Haber process) and technological developments are the basis of the agricultural revolution, also known as the « green revolution » (ironic inverted commas intended). Has mass production enabled us to feed the current 7 billion people? Not really.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and fertilizing innovation have made it possible to produce more with less resources, but have helped large multinational food companies grow more than feed the people in need. The economic model based on over-consumption, resulting from the « green » revolution, has created the term « food-waste » by producing huge quantities of poorly distributed food.
To summarize: Extraction of raw materials > Mass production > Consumerism > Food-waste on ALL levels
So what is Circular Economy ?
Circular economy results through various mechanisms because resources are limited. In a truly circular economy, consumption occurs only at the level of biological cycles; Everywhere else, use replaces consumption. Resources are regenerated within the life cycle, but are recovered or restored in a technical cycle. Maintaining or increasing capital therefore takes different meanings according to these cycles.
The circular economy is based on 3 principles responding to the challenges modern industrial economies face:
1st Principle : Preserving and developing natural capital by controlling stocks of finite resources and balancing the flow of renewable resources.
2nd Principle : Optimizing the exploitation of resources by promoting the circulation of products, components, and materials to their best level of performance in the life cycle and technology.
3rd Principle : Create the conditions conducive to the development of a virtuous system by identifying and eliminating negative externalities.
VIDEO. Explanation of circular economy taking smartphones as an example.
7.1 billion smartphones have made our lives easier, but what about the planet? Join the campaign and ask the big leaders in the industry for a truly innovative future! >> http://act.gp/2m18lmW
Publié par Greenpeace International sur dimanche 5 mars 2017
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