Although our current economic system has a straight line from raw materials to waste, the most important problem we face today is that we are faced with the limits of resources. While this linearity distances development from sustainability, it also creates a world in which current and future generations cannot meet their own needs. One of the solutions that can be created before reaching a point of no return is the adoption of a “Green and Circular” economic model.
Turkey’s second Circular Economy Week was held from March 14-18 in cooperation with Association for Sustainable Development (SKD Turkey), Business World Platform for Goals (B4G) and DCube Circular Economy Cooperative (DCube ).
During the week, experts and business representatives from different countries gathered around the main themes of the Sustainable Development Goals, global experiences in the transformation of the green economy, the European green consensus, the regulation carbon at the border, circular economy solutions, clean technologies and innovation, equitable transformation and Circular Cities.
Organized online within the framework of the strategic partnership of the Embassy of Finland and Business Finland, II. During the Circular Economy Week in Turkey, solutions for capacity building in the circular economy model, designing solutions in priority sectors and developing relevant policies were discussed. The event ended with the launch of the project report “Exploring the potential of circularity in five sectors in Turkey”.
With the European Commission putting the Circular Economy Action Plan on the agenda in 2015, the global movement for circularity has gained momentum. The Green Reconciliation Action Plan released in accordance with the principles of circularity, the new updated and planned guidelines and regulations will significantly affect the economic and business activities of our country.
In addition to its global competitive advantage, the transition to a circular economy that provides natural resource protection, pollution reduction, economic development and green business opportunities is also essential for our country.
Exploring the potential of the circular economy in five sectors
The project “Exploring the potential of circularity in five sectors in Turkey” carried out in cooperation with the French Development Agency (AFD), SKD and KPMG aims to increase awareness of the circular economy and accelerate the transition towards circularity in the sectors.
The sectors covered by the research were determined to be plastic packaging, textiles, white goods, automotive and construction due to their high consumption of resources, being important sectors for the economy of the country and the best practices related to the circular economy. As part of the project, 29 companies were contacted and the first phase of the study was carried out using data from 14 companies. According to the results of the study; In the plastic packaging sector, the input cyclicality was 7% and the output cyclicality was 13%. In the textile sector, the cyclicality of inputs was found to be 16% and the cyclicality of outputs 23%. According to the study, there are still steps to be taken in the name of circularity in other sectors.
Topics addressed in the study
The obstacles to the transition to the circular economy in Turkey differ according to the sectors. Hygiene standards regulating food packaging materials in the plastic packaging industry, material quality, safety specifications and standards in the automotive and household appliances industries, safety coefficients and standards in the construction are some of the factors hindering the increase in product cyclicality rates. One of the factors that reduces the cyclical rate of products is the application of the tax, which prevents the recycling of textile scraps in the textile sector and makes them valued as waste.
Another factor affecting circularity rates is customer demand. Many manufacturers and suppliers in five industries may have low product cycle rates due to designing and producing products in line with customer demands. There is a need to raise consumer awareness and ensure demand and preference for circular materials. The increase in the rate of circularity of products and the high investment costs required for the design of innovative and ecological products are slowing down the transition to the circular economy. Government agencies can work with financial institutions to provide funds to support circular business models. As part of sustainable finance, investments made in the circular economy will be encouraged with tax and interest reductions, advantageous loans, new insurance models and new investments. Relationships with transparency, stability and cyclicality of data must be ensured and national data sources must be shaped accordingly. The transition to a circular economy should ensure economic growth and job growth with the right investments.