June 15, 2021

The circular economy, the awakening in Latin America of a "good business"

The circular economy, the awakening in Latin America of a "good business"



Latin America is in the "awakening" of the circular economy, a development approach that supposes a "good business" for companies and countries and that needs social awareness, the will of governments and innovation to take momentum .

This was expressed today by Efe the Chilean José Aravena, executive director of the Business Foundation EuroChile, which together with the Ministry of Environment of Chile and the Organization of Nations Units for Industrial Development (Onudi) organized in the Chilean capital the Latin American Forum of Circular Economy (fEC).

"The circular economy is a good business, we have to invest, we have to make significant reforms in the way we produce, but in the medium and long term it is a good business for companies, for countries and for the world in general, for make it sustainable, "said Aravena.

The forum, which began today and will continue on Wednesday, aims to promote a productive transformation in Chile and Latin America that leaves behind a form of linear production (manufacturing, buying, using and pulling) and progress towards the circular economy, which bets for recycling and reuse.

"It is an issue that is beginning but with enough force, particularly in Chile," said Aravena, who put Europe, "where some countries no longer have dumps" as the spearhead of the circular economy and model to follow.

"That is our main interest as EuroChile, to make a platform with Europe, to try to make available to Chilean companies and institutions and the region the knowledge and experiences that already exist in Europe about new ways of producing," he said.

Aravena differentiated three main edges to advance in circular economy: that companies treat their waste and reuse it, that countries legislate so that the waste treatment is mandatory so that they have a new useful life, and that is committed to innovation to change the productive processes.

He indicated that the innovation required to change production technologies "has important effects on productivity" and that as waste is thrown away, money is being lost, while if it is reused, savings are generated.

"All this together generates an increase in important productivity," he said.

In this regard, the French expert in Circular Economy and territorial waste management, Eric Chevaillier, told Efe that the circular economy has a "huge impact" on productivity thanks to the development of new processes and products that it entails, and that Latin America has many opportunities ahead.

The new models and the opportunities for the circular economy that occur in Latin America are two of the main blocks of the fEC, which last year had its first edition in Uruguay.

Aravena explained that the traditional business with waste has been to manage landfills, but that "undoubtedly" the new business model is to try to recover those rights and return them to the production system.

Thus, he mentioned the reuse of water used in production processes as a basic thing to do, and other new business models such as recovering the precious metals that some technological items carry when they no longer work.

The Head of the Competitiveness Unit of the Companies and for Small and Medium Enterprises (Cosme) of Spain, Natalia Martínez, told Efe that "the message to small and medium-sized companies is to innovate".

"The current linear economic model is a risk and we must innovate in how to use the waste and use it again as raw materials," said Martinez.

The fEC has the participation of more than 20 speakers from around the world, with an area of ​​circular innovation projects that will provide an experience to interact with circular business models, and networking opportunities for participants.

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