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Circular Economy

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the world economy, including throughout Africa. Among the global reflections in its aftermath, whether related to the current virus or otherwise, are the need for rigorous sanitation practices and the shared vulnerabilities we all have to unhealthy (and environmentally harmful) practices anywhere. Thoughts will soon turn from the medical crisis to the economic crisis, where a need to kickstart new revenue-generating activities will arise. And this is where consideration would…

Jonathan Cocker will be interviewed as part of the Harvard University Master’s Degree Program in Sustainability and Sustainable Development by Carrie Snyder, Lecturer at Harvard University and Circular Economy Consultant at CSS Consulting.

The aviation industry, broadly understood, has long been the source of substantial waste management challenges, both for the host airports themselves and for the communities in which they are situated. It is only very recently that much attention has been paid to addressing these aviation waste practices and, to date, no meaningful integrated strategy, capturing all aviation waste materials across the supply chain, has emerged. And yet, with recent seismic shifts in air travel demand,…

With all of the talk from the Government of Canada about the coming laws targeting single-use plastics (SUP), it’s worth asking whether the Parliament has such powers and what’s needed for them to act on SUP. After all, the federal government has ceded much of its role to the provinces and territories which regulate over environmental protection generally, including most waste management matters, and some provinces have expressed hostility and a willingness to commence legal…

It should be taken on faith that legislated clean-up of legacy plastic pollution for some industries is coming. After all, the European Union Single Use Plastics Directive expressly requires that the food and beverage container, packaging and bags producers are responsible for the: costs of cleaning up litter resulting from those products and the subsequent transport and treatment of that litter through extended producer liability laws in each member state. In other words, the makers…

Long-awaited, and much-contested, new repairability requirements will soon impact many household electronic appliances within the European Union. Compliance deadlines for these standards start as soon as April 2020. Until these recent regulatory changes to the EU’s 2009 Eco-Design Directive, electronics repair rights had been successfully resisted on proprietary and safety grounds across target industries. The broader complaint, not commonly articulated by industry, is the discernible shift these repairability standards signal in the relationship between producers…

Some might have wondered what the purpose might be for this joint assessment from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada: Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution, January 2020. After all, the federal government and the provinces have already entered into an agreement through the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment to create a regulated circular economy for plastics in the name of environmental harm reduction. In fact, a single-use plastics law…

Jonathan Cocker is pleased to participate in a panel on Plastics Regulation at the Regional Policy Dialogue of the Inter-American Development Bank. The meeting will be held in Washington D.C. from March 12-13, 2020.