Earth Overshoot Day: Call for More Recycling instead of Bans
Earth Overshoot Day – Today the world has used up its natural budget for this year, according to the Global Footprint Network. Dr Klaus Hauschulte, CEO of Scholz Recycling, is therefore calling urgently for greater political, economic and social commitment as well as stronger funding for the environmental service branch: “In the 1970s, we managed to survive on our resources for one year. But today we are overusing the earth, exploiting important reserves and wasting too many resources. We actually need 1.75 earths to cover our consumption.”
Since taking office in 2018, Dr Hauschulte has supported internal measures such as solar power, more energy-efficient operating times for large-scale equipment and satellite-supported optimisation of logistics, but he is mostly concerned about the recycling itself: ” Very few understand how complex recycling really is. We throw everything in two or three different containers and think that the technology will be able to sort the waste and reuse raw materials. This is a misbelief and political support is important there as well.”
Our economy is only about 9% circular, according to the latest Circularity Gap Report. In addition, the day on which mankind has used up nature’s budget is moving further and further to the beginning of the year. “Politically, we should not only be discussing bans on straws and domestic flights, but we must also talk about a considerable boost for the circular economy,” Hauschulte said. The former Siemens manager for wind power and urban mobility calls for a well-functioning market for recycled raw materials: “As an entrepreneur, what else can I do to ensure the recycling for a future with scarce raw materials if we don’t even get paid today for what my employees actually deserve for their climate protection achievements?
If Europe wants to and must become a climate-neutral continent by 2050, as recently demanded by the designated EU Commission President von der Leyen in her “Green Deal”, then this can only be achieved by a political agenda for a strong and funded recycling economy. An innovative European and German industry must be strengthened and protected by using recycled materials in production and keeping them in circulation. Furthermore, we need to launch extensive image campaigns for the use of recycled raw materials. Hauschulte therefore appeals: “If we disregard the circular economy today, it will be destroyed when we need it and the Earth Overshoot Day will soon be in January”.