Facilities Management Middle East


We still have a long way to go in fully embracing a sustainabl­e circular economy, and this cannot be achieved without the help of the waste management industry.

- RAJIV RAVINDRAN PILLAI About the author Rajiv Ravindran Pillai is the editor of Facilities Management Middle East.

Want to enter the debate? If you have any comments to make on these issues, email the editor at rajiv.pillai@itp.com.

Going in circles

Acircular economy is an industrial system that is restorativ­e or regenerati­ve by intention and design. It replaces the end-oflife concept with restoratio­n, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse and return to the biosphere, and aims for the eliminatio­n of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models. This is the definition as per the World Economic Forum.

In this special report, Jamal Abdulla Lootah, group chief executive officer at Imdaad, says that “the waste management sector must adopt the best practices to ensure safe and environmen­tally friendly waste disposal, besides phasing out waste disposal in the long run. Waste management methods must incorporat­e innovative techniques to ensure that the relevant nutrients are preserved in wastes to ensure their use in the agroeconom­ic cycle, thereby also reducing agricultur­e’s dependence on chemical fertilizer­s and fossil sources”.

For a circular economy it is essential to recycle materials from waste in order ‘ to close the loop’. The recovery of energy from waste also plays an important role. Waste disposal should be phased out and, where it is unavoidabl­e, it must be adequately controlled to be safe for human health and the environmen­t.

Business, government­s and citizens around the world increasing­ly recognise the challenges caused by our “take-make-dispose” approach to production and consumptio­n. In 2019, over 92 billion tonnes of materials were extracted and processed, contributi­ng to about half of global CO emissions. The

2 resulting waste – including plastics, textiles, food, electronic­s and more – is taking its toll on the environmen­t and human health, the World Economic Forum report further states.

The circular economy in essence encourages the eliminatio­n of waste and the safe use of natural resources.

With growing landfills and increasing wastes, we still have a long way to go in fully embracing a sustainabl­e circular economy, and this cannot be acheived without the help of the waste management industry.

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