Why do we need RRR?
With the increase of the earth’s population and of the consumer habits of the public, excessive exploitation of natural resources and the depletion of our natural environment are greater than ever before. The existing wasteful model of development (which is based on the logic of I buy, I use, I throw away) has led to the world crisis which we are going through today and has proven to be ineffectual and non-viable.
In order to ensure that the coming generations will be able to have a good quality of life, which will depend on a healthy and clean environment and a lively economy, we must, as soon as possible, change the way in which we manage the resources. Therefore the immediate need arises for the effective use of resources and the simultaneous avoidance to deplete the environment. The effective use of resources unavoidably depends on making use of materials that are contained in what these days we describe as “waste”.
In Europe, around 35% of raw materials which are used per person are turned into waste. From this waste which is produced, an average of only 40% is recycled or reused, while the remainder ends up in some form of dumping or burning. Therefore a very substantial amount of useful raw materials such as metals, wood, glass, paper, plastic contained in the products already consumed and thrown away, are lost through the dumping of waste.
ΣIn Cyprus, according to the latest Eurostat data (source: Environmental Data Centre on Waste, Eurostat), every citizen of the Republic of Cyprus produces about 2 kilogrammes of waste per day, ranking Cyprus perpetually between the two or three countries among EU member-states with the greatest production of waste. Moreover, only a small percentage, (of around 20%) of municipal waste are recycled or composted with the remaining ending in dumping.
These data show that effective management of resources through the correct management of our waste, is more imperative than ever. EU actions are part of a general effort to create a resource efficient economy. The most recent development in European institutional practices is the policy proposal submitted in 2014 by the outgoing European Commission for the adoption of a “cyclical economy” in Europe.