UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 17 March 2022

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What’s the article is about?

The article talks about the importance of a circular economy and measures to push the circular economy in India.

Syllabus: GS3, Environmental Pollution & Degradation


  • Cumulative waste generated by India’s total installed solar capacity could be 325 kilotonnes by 2030. 
  • CEEW has estimated that India would need over 5,630 GW of solar and 1,792 GW of wind energy to achieve its net-zero target in the year 2070. 

Principles of Circular economy  

  • Minimization of waste and pollution
  • Extension of the useful life of products and materials
  • Regeneration of natural systems

Need of Circular economy:

  • The rise in Population: Higher demand for goods and services to leading to depletion of reserves
  • The supply of crucial raw materials is limited.
  • The robust economic growth coupled with rising household incomes, rising consumerism caused increased pressure on natural resources such as land, forests, air, water, and ecosystems.
  • India’s Import dependence: Our country’s dependence on imports for accessing critical resources like rare earth minerals etc.
  • Managing of waste: The traditional linear economy approach results in massive waste generation at all stages of a product life cycle
  • INDC commitments: To fulfill India’s commitment to Paris climate commitment and Panchamrit principles. 

Measures needed

  • Policymakers should revise existing electronic waste management rules to bring various clean energy components under their ambit.
  • Revised regulations should clearly define the responsibilities of various stakeholders involved in the renewable energy value chain and provide annual targets for the collection and recycling of waste.
  • The dumping and burning of different components should be banned. Currently, in the absence of any regulation landfilling is the cheapest and most common practice to manage renewable energy waste.
  • The renewable energy industry should invest in the research and development of recycling technologies. 
  • There has to be a creation of innovative financing routes for waste management. 
  • A market for recycled materials could also be created through mandatory procurement by renewable energy and other relevant manufacturing industries. 
  • There needs to be an improvement in product design and quality.
  • The Union and State governments should set stringent quality control standards for components used in their tenders.
  • The central government should nudge public and private sector banks to charge lower interest rates on loans disbursed for setting up renewable energy waste recycling facilities. 

A circular economy with huge environmental benefits also provides employment opportunities to all. Hence government should stringently enforce a circular economy in order to boost the economic development of the nation in a sustainable way.

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