Eco-industrial Parks & Circular Economy
TERI University, New Delhi, India
The depleting world resources, compels every human being to conserve these resources and draw less resource from the nature to be able to leave something for the future generation. The natural resources such as metals and minerals are diminishing at a faster rate due to over exploitation. While exploration and material extraction costs are high on the one hand, the current processes of ‘make-use-dispose’ of the linear economy leads to huge consumption of raw materials and generation of wastes in the process. It is stated that as much as 50-80% of the products made are thrown away after use as wastes. Judicious and efficient use of such resources is one option, while the other is to recover resources from wastes through efficient reuse and recycling. It has been visualized that a circular economy could help stabilise some of these issues by decoupling economic growth from resource consumption and could provide a practical solution to the earth’s emerging resource crunch.
The Concept of Circular Economy is recent but recycling has been in practice for long but essentially both facilitate in creating the closed loop for the materials cycle which the needs to be harnessed. The change from ‘Cradle-to-Grave’ approach to a Cradle-to-Cradle is being adopted leading to green practices.
The paper is an attempt to provide small scale eco-industrial parks for developing economies to provide a stable system for material flow within the industrial park. As a result waste from one unit could become a raw material for another unit within the system. This would also enable to reduce the transportation and energy costs.