A. Introduction to clean production: a new paradigm. Regulations, economic instruments and information tools. Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace.
The current production systems are linear, a cradle-to-grave system, often using hazardous substances and finite resources in vast quantities and at fast rates. The goal of Clean production is to fulfil the need for products in a sustainable way and creat e a system which is circular, cradle-to-cradle. This system uses fewer materials and less water and energy Clean production has four elements:
Steps towards Clean Production:
The first steps towards clean production are changes in the production process. Clean technology, as an incentive to change product, changes the process. Also required is the examining of the product itself. Today society must move to full cost accounting as a way to understand the environmental, social and monetary costs of resource depletion and waste generation. In supporting the development of cleaner production and cleaner products the governments play a major role. Governments need to develop resour ce policies favouring long-life products, renewable energy and natural materials.
Examples of legislative initiatives are:
b. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace and Sacha Kranendonk, Wuppertal Institute.
The focus of EPR is on product systems and has the aim to encourage producers to prevent pollution and reduce resource and energy use in each stage of the product life-cycle. Producers bear a degree of responsibility for all the environmental impacts of t heir products.
The model example of EPR is the 'product take back', where the producer takes back a product at the end of its useful life either directly of through a third party. Take back laws must be accompanied by an obligation to recycle (recycling, a wolf in sheep 's skin, figure 4.
A lot of industrial sectors are alarmed at the prospect of EPR. Instead of EPR they favour Extended Stakeholder Responsibility, which disperses responsibility onto consumers.
b.2. Life-cycle analysis Databanks, provided with information on products can be used as a instrument of pressure towards the industry. By making a life-cycle analysis one can show the level of input of resources in a product: such as the use of energy, of water, solid materials, toxins, land-use, transport. It is a presentation of the ecological rucksack of a product. Some products can't be recycled because of their high level of toxication. Therefor the use of toxins must be minimized/ reduced to zero.
c. Tools to enable consumes to make a change. Monique Wijn, Alternative Consumer Association.
To move to an alternative sustainable system of production and consumption we haveto reestablish the link between farmers and consumers.
The present cycle is as followed:
Farmers - Processing industry - Distribution - Shops - Consumers. The first, farmers, and the last, consumers, have to be linked again. An example is the LETS.