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[GreenYes] China's emerging Circular Economy

“China can no longer afford to follow the West's resources-hungry model
of development and it should encourage its citizens to avoid adopting
the developed world's consumer habits . . . It's important to make
Chinese people not blatantly imitate Western consumer habits so as not
to repeat the mistakes by the industrial development of the west over
the past 300 years." -- Pan Yue, Deputy Minister, State Environmental
Protection Administration. (BBC and New York Times 2004)

The Circular Economy approach to resource-use efficiency integrates
cleaner production and industrial ecology in a broader system
encompassing industrial firms, networks or chains of firms,
eco-industrial parks, and regional infrastructure to support resource
optimization. State owned and private enterprises, government and
private infrastructure, and consumers all have a role in achieving the
CE. The three basic levels of action are:

At the individual firm level, managers must seek much higher efficiency
through the three Rs of CP, reduce consumption of resources and emission
of pollutants and waste, reuse resources, and recycle by-products.
(Sustainable product and process design is important in German and
Japanese recycling economy plans but is just emerging as a component of
the Chinese CE concept.)

The second level is to reuse and recycle resources within industrial
parks and clustered or chained industries, so that resources will
circulate fully in the local production system. (The Chinese use the
term “eco-chains” for by-product exchanges.)

The third level is to integrate different production and consumption
systems in a region so the resources circulate among industries and
urban systems. This level requires development of municipal or regional
by-product collection, storage, processing, and distribution systems.

Efforts at all three levels include development of resource recovery and
cleaner production enterprises and public facilities to support
realization of the CE concept. This adds a strong economic development
dimension through investment in new ventures and job creation. So the CE
opens opportunities for both domestic and foreign enterprises.

This is excerpted from MIT's Journal of Industrial Ecology.

You can find the complete text by following this link:

David Wollner
BRING Recycling
Eugene, OR

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