Making the Transition to a More Circular Economy
Experts believe that the rise in renewable energy production over the past few years opens the perfect opportunity for Canada to shift towards a more circular economy, defined as an economy where there is little to no waste. It involves recycling and reusing different materials.
The Canadian government has been pushing to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. In 2022, the Liberal government published draft regulations that required all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in Canada after 2035 to be electric, zero-emission vehicles. The reason behind this regulation stems from the fact that Canada can leverage its large amount of natural resources such as minerals. However, extracting minerals can negatively impact if not destroy ecosystems and lead to pollution, which some environmentalists view as counterproductive. The extraction of minerals results in large amounts of wastewater, and requires large amounts of energy.
The issues involving extraction can be resolved by transitioning towards a more circular economy. Rather than focusing on acquiring new minerals to develop clean energy devices such as electric vehicles, a circular economy would emphasize recycling old vehicles. This is already being done with phones such as the Fairphone 4, which is already up to 75% recyclable. Although phones are much smaller than cars, it is possible that this process of recycling could be done with cars over time.
In summary, as Canada shifts to an economy that emphasizes renewable energy devices, it is important to consider how we create these devices. Negatively impacting and polluting ecosystems to create electric vehicles would offset the benefit of using an electric vehicle. By transitioning to a circular economy this problem can be reduced.
As ecosystems are destroyed and pollution rises due to a possible increase in the extraction of raw materials, we must adopt green technologies such as the Anorra Wind Turbines and towers which can be recycled and made into other parts after their lifespan has ended, promoting a more circular economy.