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Karnataka plans new circular economy policy

According to Kharge, circular economy is a model of production and consumption centred around three R’s -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- to extend the lifecycle of products.
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 17 August 2023, 21:51 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2023, 21:51 IST

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Karnataka is mulling a new policy on circular economy that is likely to set sustainability benchmarks for the government and the private sector, especially on reuse or recycling of materials and electronic junk.

“If we play our cards right, India’s circular economy might generate an annual value of $218 billion by 2030,” IT/BT and Rural Development Minister Priyank Kharge, who is anchoring the new policy preparation, told DH.

According to Kharge, circular economy is a model of production and consumption centred around three R’s -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- to extend the lifecycle of products. 

The Rural Development & Panchayat Raj department will take the first step in demonstrating the benefits of a circular economy by opening “material recovery facilities” in 27 districts at Rs 2 crore each. These will “maintain continuity in disposal and scientific management of dry waste”, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in his Budget last month. 

As part of his consultation with stakeholders, Kharge hosted a poll on X (formerly Twitter) asking citizens if Karnataka needs a circular economy policy: 84 per cent out of 2,876 respondents voted yes. 

The proposed policy could mandate sustainable practices for the government when it comes to laying roads and public procurement. 

“The government runs the biggest engineering department. Why can’t all roads be laid using plastic waste? Also, why can’t the government procure refurbished -- second-hand, as we like to call it -- machinery?” Kharge said.

“Aspects of circular economy aspects are already ingrained in our mindsets. Don’t we repair items instead of simply buying new ones? The average length of car ownership is 9-12 years as compared to 7-8 years in the US,” the minister pointed out. 

Karnataka already has policies that touch upon circular economy principles: Startup Policy, Karnataka State Urban Solid Waste Management Policy, Karnataka Registered Vehicle Scrapping Policy and e-Waste (Management) Rules. 

“The involvement of various departments is necessary. My intention is that the government should come up with a policy that supersedes the existing ones, for which I need to discuss with the chief minister,” Kharge said. 

Highlights - Green path * New policy to focus on reduce, reuse and recycle principles. * Policy likely to lay down sustainability mandates for govt, pvt sector. * 84% citizens vote in favour of policy in minister's online poll.  * India's circular economy projected at $218 billion by 2030. 

Quote - The government runs the biggest engineering department. Why can't all roads be constructed using plastic waste. Priyank Kharge

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Published 17 August 2023, 21:51 IST

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