Archive | Phosphorus RSS for this section

The three cycles of the circular economy

The biological, monetary and technical cycles of the circular economy

Most people take a narrow view of the circular economy, seeing it as renting out your car, selling second stuff etc. All true, but there is more to it. Firstly, things from nature need to circulate – food waste goes to compost goes to soil goes to food- for example. And trees go to wood to waste wood to fibre board to fuel maybe. And things come from the earth, like metals and they are made into, say, raw iron, then steel, then a product, then scrap, then more steel, and so on.

But money needs to go round too. Forget government hoarding surplus – that only removes money from the economy. We need the workers to get good wages so they buy stuff from factories that make good profits that pay good taxes and wages and so it goes round.

Many people react to the idea of people spending more because they think business will extract some stuff and dump others and leave the earth exhausted and polluted. They will. Unless there are either strict laws or stiff fees to stop them. So the circular economy will make it very expensive to extract or dump. And that is where the first and last invoice come in. In the life of a material, be it iron or sand, for example, the first invoice (paying for extraction) is the start of a long chain of invoices that the circular economy continues as long as possible. It puts dumping or burning off – the last invoice – and delays it in time. And the economy is rigged to reward them.

So, there are the basics. If you want to learn more about the three cycles, do look up the relevant course in our online school: https://circleeconomy.teachable.com

Advertisements

For the love of phosphorus: presentation in Swedish

This presentation comes from the “Future day” seminar arranged by waste handler Ragnsells.

It covers why phosphorus requires to be treated as a special case in the circular economy, indeed in a circular economy culture. And gives a few ideas how to do that – mentioning the acute need to do something about the Baltic Sea.

Slides can be downloaded here. RAGNSELLS1

To learn more about the circular economy see the online courses available here http://circleeconomy.tssef.se

 

Opinion: Put a price on phosphorus now and drive circularity

Stephen Hinton 2016

Photo: Maj-Lis Koivisto

In My Humble Opinion:

Put a price on phosphorus now to create a circular economy before it is too late

I’ve been thinking about some interesting feedback on food prices. At a recent meeting, I presented my case: dividend-bearing import surcharges on scarce substances can encourage reuse and recycling. The received opinion is that that anything that makes food more expensive cannot be done. And shouldn’t. Read More…

Taking part in European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform

Stephen Hinton will represent the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation as panel member at the event:

Policies and tools for the bio-nutrient circular economy
Brussels, Wednesday 2nd December

The event will focus on proposals for actions for policies around waste disposal constraints, targets, CAP incentives, natural capital accounting, externalities, dynamic standards, fiscal tax shift etc

And cover topics such as

  •  obstacles in regulation, application
  • innovation and value chain collaboration
  • changing economic imbalance between raw materials and recycling
  • tax shift
  • policy tools
  • job creation, farmer’s incomes

Read more about the Platform here

The challenge of phosphorus

This video explains the essential science of phosphorus and how understanding the role of phosphorus in agriculture and waste handling will give you the basics of sustainability. Read More…