All current global processes are frequently connected with the word “wise” – wise management, wise consumption, wise manufacturing. Wise means that all systems, models, and technologies should be focused not only on their final result and income, but also on their effect on environment and society. Circular economy should be achieved as the outcome of activities conducted by each government and company.
Every person in the world is part of a food chain. And if we used to care less about where the food we eat or goods we use came from and what is happening after throwing used stuff into the rubbish bin, now things have changed. Every person should consider wise consumption – it means to buy only the things and food they need and think about ways to recycle them.
In our current economy, the food chain process is linear. We take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and throw the latter away as waste. In circular economy, by contrast, stopping waste production is a prime concern.
The three main principles of the circular economy are: 1) eliminating waste and pollution, 2) producing circular products and materials, 3) regenerating nature. To accomplish that, we should transform every element of our take-make-waste system, namely, how resources are managed, how products are made and used, what is done with the materials afterwards. Only then a thriving circular economy can be created to benefit everyone on our planet.
Within the sustainable development framework, the sustainable food value chain was set. The essential characteristics of sustainable food value chains include renewal, regeneration, responsiveness, resistance, resilience, and redundancy.
According to FAO’s sustainable food value chain (SFVC) framework, SFVC:
Is profitable throughout all stages (economic sustainability)
Has broad-based benefits, positively affecting the entire society (social sustainability)
Has a positive or neutral impact on the natural environment (environmental sustainability).
Figure 2. Food supply chain (Source: Sustainability and the global food supply chain @futurelearn.com).
The above picture shows a food supply chain; however, it does not show an essential stage of it. It is the recycling and waste management phase. Natural resources are necessary for food and goods production. At the same time, though, these natural resources are being damaged due to irresponsible consumption and inappropriate waste management.
In the EU, UK and developed countries, it is common to sort rubbish or use recycled materials for packaging, clothes production etc. The truth is, even in these countries not all people know and think about it, not to mention what may happen in other parts of the world.
The sooner each of us take responsibility for our planet through their personal attitude towards consumption and wastes, the sooner we will build up an eco-friendly environment. Let’s be ‘wise’ and aware during every stage of our life.
A sustainable future starts now!