• Keshav Godala

Is there nothing else Millennials can do to protect the environment besides opting out of cutlery?

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The current system of “take-make-dispose” referred to as the linear economy is no longer working for businesses, people or the environment. A ‘circular economy’ is needed for the 21st century. In a circular economy, we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of its service life.

The earlier post talked about Indian millennials being fed-up with heaps of plastic in their houses. Millennials have been stereotyped to be lazy, narcissistic, and not committing to significant responsibilities. If we are not the ones fixing the global economy, fighting climate change and adopting sustainability, then who will? Hence, what should we as Millennials do?

At first, get to know about CE and your SDGs: The SDGs have been live since 2015, yet only 42% of the people surveyed knew about them, and far fewer understand it. Read about it here. Once you have learned about these concepts, it is essential to inform others. The more people are actively thinking and working on global goals, the more feasible it is to make real progress.

Keeping products in a loop: An ecosystem is to be adopted where products are reduced and reused rather than using them up. When it comes to products like food packaging, we should be able to get the materials back, so they don’t end up in a landfill. An alarming 3000 tonnes of single-use plastic every month goes into landfills just from the Indian food delivery space. By keeping products in the CE loop, you are aligning yourself with SDG 12 i.e. ensuring sustainable consumption patterns.

One of the coolest developments in this space has been the shift from offering products to services with the companies maintaining ownership. Philips has brought in a circular lighting service that provides guaranteed performance about energy while retaining the ownership of the lights and taking care of the reuse, refurbishing or recycling. For customers, this is savings of 60% in maintenance cost and 20% in cost-effective upgradability. Another example with Renault developing a closed-loop model wherein they are harvesting thermoplastic materials of car fenders from end-of-life vehicles for the production of fenders for new cars.

How will adopting these circular economy models impact us Millennials?

Increased Disposable Income: Reusability will reduce the costs of products and services thereby increasing disposable income. According to a FICCI report, 0.5$ Trillion worth of economic value can be unlocked for India by 2030 through the use of the circular economy model.

Creation of Jobs: The same FICCI report also mentions creating 14 lakh jobs and 2$ Billion of economic opportunity just by managing 40% of the plastic produced in India.

Greater Utility and Reduced Obsolescence: The problem of untimely failure of products will be significantly brought down while delivering higher convenience without the hassle of repairs and returns. Consumers adopting CE pushes producers to design better thereby providing an additional choice of quality.

How is InfinityBox™ bringing Circular Economy to the food delivery industry?InfinityBox™ implements a 3R model. Customers can opt-in for our reusable, food-grade and superior quality containers when ordering through a food aggregator. We take care of the reverse logistics while ensuring the containers go through rigorous hygiene management and quality checks before being returned to the restaurants. One InfinityBox™ is reused 100 times before we recycle it. Our unique solution adds value to every stakeholder involved.

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