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Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environment and Conservation

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Union Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change launched the Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC).

 

Where?

  • It was launched on the sidelines of the 4th G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) and Environment and Climate Ministers meeting in Chennai.
  • The ECSWG meets to discuss the pressing environmental issues and promote global collaboration towards a sustainable and resilient future.

 

 

Founding members:

  • As many as 39 multinational corporations (MNCs) from sectors such as steel, FMCG, electronics came together to join RECEIC.
  • They pledged to adopt resource efficiency and circular economy principles to address environmental challenges rising from waste, including plastics, microplastics, e-waste, and chemical waste.

  

What is the RECEIC?

  • Conceptualised by India’s G20 Presidency, it is envisaged to be industry-driven and a self-sustaining initiative continuing to function even beyond India’s G20 Presidency.
  • The mission of this coalition is to –
    • Facilitate and foster greater company-to-company collaboration,
    • Build advanced capabilities across sectors and value chains,
    • Bring learnings from the diverse and global experiences of the coalition members, and
    • Unlock on-ground private sector action to enhance resource efficiency and accelerate circular economy transition.
  • The coalition is structured around the 3 guiding pillars of partnerships for impact, technology cooperation and finance for scale.

 

Significance of RECEIC:

  • It would play a pivotal role in promoting alliances, encouraging technological cooperation and knowledge transfer, fostering innovation, and facilitating the exchange of insights to enhance access to finance.
  • It will contribute towards progress on key global goals and priorities set by the G20 and other international fora.
  • RECEIC will also act as an overarching platform enabling industries to address information gaps and coordination challenges across the G20 members.

  

Other efforts of the Indian government to promote a circular economy:

  • The E-Waste (Management) Rules 2016: To curb the improper disposal of electronic products and to promote sustainable e-waste management practices.
  • The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2022:
    • It establishes Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) guidelines. EPR is an environmental protection strategy that makes the manufacturer of the product responsible for the entire life cycle of the product.
    • Under this, 2.6 million tonnes worth of EPR certificates had been generated by plastic waste processors and around 1.51 million tonnes of those certificates had been purchased by PIBOs (Producers, Importers and Brand owners).
  • Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban 2.0: The focus is on source segregation of garbage, utilising the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), scientific processing of municipal solid waste, etc.

 

Challenges for circular economy in India:

  • Industries are reluctant to adopt the circular economy model due to supply chain limitations, lack of incentives to invest in recycling and remanufacturing processes, etc.
  • Many people in India are not familiar with the concept of a circular economy and its benefits.
  • India’s current infrastructure may not be well-equipped to support a circular economy. For example, insufficient recycling facilities and waste management systems.
  • There is a cultural resistance to the idea of reusing and recycling products in India.

  

Conclusion:

Industry-led coalition on resource efficiency and circular economy has the potential to transform aspirations into concrete actions. However, behavioural changes are an important prerequisite for this transformation.

 

Insta Links:

Moving away from the ‘take-make-dispose’ model

  

Mains Links:

Discuss the benefits of adopting a circular economy approach in terms of sustainability, resource efficiency, and environmental conservation.