Closed-loop economy is becoming more popular. The number of enterprises, which refuse from a so called linear approach “produce, use and throw away” andapplycyclic production schemes, is increasing. A closed-loop economy does not mean only waste recycling. It helps to minimize use of fresh natural raw material, lower energy consumption, establish lots of new parallel high value added productions, and increase the number of working places considerably.
The key is that it can be a reliable tower of strength for the development of small and medium business, energy efficient economy in Azerbaijan. It is what President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev spoke about at the conference dedicated to the results of implementation of the state program of social-economic development of regions in 2014-2018(http://www.caspianenergy.net/ru/ekonomika/30898-80).
Apart from this, options of the closed-loop economy amid diverse natural raw materials, historical and entrepreneurial and environmental traditions of Azerbaijan are boundless almost in all areas, starting from the agriculture (bio-gas production, cyclic use of different bio-cultures in Azerbaijan) right up to the oil industry (carbon capture and storage, reuse of polymers, construction wastes and many others). Put simply, everything what is produced should be reproduced with a much higher economic and ecological margin.
According to the plans of the European Commission, it is planned to ensure recycling of 75% of wastes by 2030, 65% of urban emissions by 2030 as well as reduce an underground storage down to 10% of the current indicator. But no one intends to wait.
Noteworthy is the pattern of Amsterdam, approx 370 kg of trash is thrown out from each house on an annual basis, Euronews reports. After it has been sorted, 27% of it undergoes recycling. Ash is only thing that remains out of things that has to be burnt.
“Every year we get 300,000 tonnes of primary ash which remains at the plant. 10% of it undergoes sorting in order to extract metals. The rest part of it is used to get a construction material meant for production of block stones of streets and curbs”, Loek van Poppel, Manager of one of the waste treatment enterprises, says.
Amsterdam is going to process 30% of domestic wastes as early as this year and 65% in 2020. EU, in general, plans to reach this indicator by 2030.
Phillip Luazel, Director of Renault located in the area of Choisy-le-Rui has made comments to Euronews this week: “Closed-loop economy starts from planning. We rethink of machine parts when setting their design in order to simplify their dismantling and processing. In this way we optimize their reuse”. Owing to this new approach, this year the plant has managed to save 80% of electricity and water as well as 4,000 tonnes of metal.
Experience of glass processors is impressive as well. 1 ton of processed glass helps to save more than one ton of natural material – glass sand, soda and sand. Every 10% use of glass powder lowers emission into the atmosphere by 8% on average.
The Netherlands has worked out a technology, which ensures garbage treatment without preliminary sorting. A fresh raw material is obtained after this process. The system processes many types of wastes, removes harmful contaminants and then ensures packing of processed raw materials. The technology causes no environmental impact. For now there is only one plant applying such technology and located in Germany. 97% of dwelling areas of this country have been supplied with glass containers. It is a duty of residents to throw glass wastes into these containers otherwise they will be fined.
The closed-loop economy makes reproduction possible which has a favorable impact on the environment. According to estimates of specialists, shift to a new model will let the European industry save 600 bln EUR and reduce CO2 emissions.
Tens of millions of wastes are annually getting lost at land disposal polygons of Azerbaijan as well. A big volume of power is consumed for their burning; tonnes of microparticles, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide are released into the air; thousands of tonnes of glass and polypropylene, available for environmentally clean reprocessing, contaminate agricultural lands and underground waters. We bury materials and energy into the land. Creation of small and medium enterprises in accordance with the closed-loop economy principle can help to avoid all of the above mentioned. First of all it is necessary to create capacities, a special infrastructure which would serve the population on spot and help the production sector to obtain a raw material. Perhaps, there is a need for an eco-design. Convenience for utilization of consumption goods and demand for “made in AZERBAIJAN brand” (with international marking “Eco” products are the most popular) at the global market will depend on the current design of production of consumption goods – right from vehicles and washing machines right up to their transportation container and canning of fruit and vegetables.
According to the European experience, pollution intensive production undergoes high penalties. Therefore, it is more beneficial for them to introduce environmentally friendly technologies on capture of harmful contaminants (carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, solid particles when producing oil products) arising throughout a production process.
The practice of increasing responsibility of producers envisages payment for environmental damage.
In general, the closed-loop economy is certainly the economy of future. However, events of the past two years have maximally brought it closer to the present period, dictating new guidelines and development dynamics (http://caspianenergy.net/ru/neft-i-qaz/30705-2016-01-22-08-49-16).
President and Editor-in-Chief of Caspian Energy International Media Group