International Chamber of Commerce outlines policies to boost circular economy

03 January 2024 15:33

Paris - The International Chamber of Commerce, or ICC, called on governments to pursue five policy changes to develop circular economies. The changes include prioritizing product quality over original production, developing strategic material banks and reverse logistics; new global standards for circularity, and recovering more raw materials in urban settings.

Governments around the world must incorporate circular economic principles in their policies to transition from current “take-make-use-waste” models to more reuse and recycling of raw materials, the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, or ICC, argued in a new paper issued December 6.

Entitled “Key Enablers of a Circular Economy,” the ICC’s paper described how circularity can help curb pollution, reduce greenhouse gases that cause climate change and mitigate the effects of higher temperatures, more intense storms, and other phenomena, and reverse biodiversity loss.

“The circular economy is a unique and powerful tool in our fight against climate change – one that can unlock sustainable economic development,” said Par Larshans, director of Sustainability for the Ragn-Sells Group, a Swedish waste management innovator, and co-chair of the ICC Working Group on Circular Economy, in a press release issued December 6. 

Five changes in government policies and regulations can achieve those goals, the ICC claimed.

The paper recommends changing how markets view waste and enabling the free trade of resources; prioritizing product quality over original production when categorizing goods; developing strategic material reserves and cross-border reverse logistics; instituting globally standardized definitions to foster circularity at scale; and recovering raw materials from urban settings to improve food and water supplies.

“We need to profoundly change the way we operate,” said Larshans. “We need to put in place the conditions and drivers for the circular economy, starting with the five key enablers identified by ICC.” ce/jd

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