Circular Economy in GCC: Potential, Prospects and Challenges

The concept of a circular economy has been gaining a lot of momentum on the agenda of many countries in recent years. In its core, it describes an economic model which opposes the current so-called linear economy, where output is produced, used and disposed at the end of its lifespan. In contrast, circular economy advocates suggest a model in which raw materials used during the life cycle of a good are completely reintegrated into the production process. Circular economy, therefore, means more than just to recycle your old appliances, but includes considerations about how to redefine products and services in … Continue reading

Circular Economy: How to Create Sustainability and Active Presence for Companies?

Patagonia, an American company, has launched a program called “Worn Wear” to promote its sustainable approach. The initiative encourages customers to repair or reuse their clothing instead of buying new pieces, by providing spare parts for clothes that need repair. Additionally, the company offers a special program for customers through its website, where they can send in their used Patagonia clothing and exchange it for points that can be used to purchase new items. The company also provides important tips for caring for and repairing clothes, as well as offering some used products for sale. Of course, there are several … Continue reading

How To Save The World From Plastic Pollution

There is not one solution, we all know that. But let’s take a look back in time for a possible solution to plastic pollution. In a past-era, we had a solution that worked. Why not try that option once again. The returnable, refillable container of last century that was a sure thing introduced by Coca Cola in the 1920’s. It ensured customer satisfaction and more importantly, customer loyalty. Coca Cola sold its desirable liquid in expensive bottles that the company needed to be returned for the next drink batch, and the batch after that, and the batch after that one, … Continue reading

The Concept of Generalised Extended Producer Responsibility (GEPR)

The notion of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has been part of the waste policy for a long time, particularly within the OECD countries. According to the OECD, EPR “aims to make producers responsible for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product chain, from design to the post-consumer phase” [1]. EPR alleviates the burden of Public Administrations for managing end-of-life products, while -if properly designed- incentivising waste prevention and recycling. Current Limitations of EPR After years of implementation it can be argued that Extended Producer Responsibility has not in fact been so extended. Several limitations are common: a) producer … Continue reading

Re-thinking Sustainable Innovation: A New Development Discourse

The climate change presents a challenge to science and policy makers to articulate a new discourse for  sustainable development. Although, the Middle East, the cradle of civilization, was  a fertile land, it was transformed by modern technology and new models of development into a vulnerable ecosystem. The Paradox The paradox is that we are witnessing high levels of poverty despite a growth in global GDP. Also, our natural capital is being degraded at an alarming rate. This is evident when we look at global indicators; i.e., the planet has lost half its mangrove in the last century, and about 70% … Continue reading

A Glance at Waste-Free Economy

Growth from trashing the planet was never a clever idea and linear economics has now reached the end of the line. The ‘more is better’ economy does not need to be stimulated to grow nor constrained from growing. It needs to be entirely replaced by ‘positive development’ in which markets work to automatically, systematically make things better both locally and globally. The folly of endless resources extraction, endlessly unmet human needs and endless waste dumping can end. Linear economics can be replaced by ‘circular economics’. Waste-Free Growth Model A switch towards waste-free economy would preserve and regenerate material value and … Continue reading

Plastic Pollution: The Search for a Sustainable Solution

Given the present momentum of events, anthropocene may not last for long as it is engineering the apocalypse with the wonder material – Plastics. Anthropocene signifies the geological period when humans have been the dominant influence on the planet’s environment. According statistics, the world produced 322 million metric tons of plastics in 2015; and it is likely to be four times more by 2050. Plastics have become ubiquitous in our lives today. This wonder material which was invented in 1907 is thickly intertwined with every aspect of our lives today – from toothbrush to the sophisticated gadgets and equipment which … Continue reading