On October 20th, a Circular Economy bill was reported on in the Environmental Commission Meeting of the Buenos Aires Legislature.
The bill is aimed at creating a Circular Economy strategy for the city of Buenos Aires, that is, a government plan to make circular economy a reality.
According to the bill, the strategy must be elaborated through topical forums with the interested sectors and shall be applicable throughout all areas of the government. It also considers public consultation.
What does it mean for CABA to have a Circular Economy strategy?
The City of Buenos Aires has many initiatives that could be labeled as circular economy, especially in terms of waste.
With this strategy, we want to work on the production-consumption-waste chains in the most strategic sectors, not only to reduce waste, but also generate other consequences such as the transformation of the production process, creation of jobs, expansion of the useful life of products, etc.
Ratification of the Law
This law (Law 6,468) was ratified in November 2021 and designs an overarching strategy across all areas of Government in coordination with the different members of civil society and the private sector, in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2050 Carbon Neutral agenda, and other related commitments assumed.
Circular Economy refers to the economic system where the value of products, materials, and other resources remain for as long as possible within the economy, promoting their efficient use in production and consumption, minimizing environmental impact, waste, and the release of hazardous materials in all phases of the life cycle, through the application of the waste hierarchy. The objectives will be:
a. To encourage the adaptation of the industrial model to a circular economy, eliminate waste and contamination, and lead to the socially and economically sustainable circulation of products and materials in the market;
b. To promote the development of production, commercial and management system models that preserve natural capital, optimize the use of resources, close the product lifecycle, and internalize the environmental impact, maximizing efficiency in decision making and promoting system efficacy;
c. To generate tools, incentives, and regulatory frameworks that allow for the circular economy systems to be applied in different sectors of the economy;
d. To promote the development of public investment, design and implement public-private commitments, and stimulate private sector investment to develop the necessary competencies to create circular economy opportunities and generate an inclusive transition that is sustained upon innovation, the creation of jobs, decarbonization of the economy, and development of the necessary infrastructure to scale the transition;
e. To promote public-private collaboration across all value chains to eliminate barriers, develop new policies and align existing ones; to work within all areas of public administration and with other jurisdictions to align
policies and lasting changes; and to measure progress towards the incorporation of a circular economy approach across the entire economy.
Its guiding principles are Progressivity. The goals outlines must be met gradually. The decisions regarding the production and consumption of goods and services must include an analysis of the lifecycle in design and production processes. They must favor the creation of innovative and efficient models of sustainable consumption through transparent information and the promotion of the reuse, recycling, and valuation of goods and services within the Circular Economy framework.
Regarding Extended Producer Responsibility, this is understood as the duty of each producer to objectively assume responsibility for comprehensive management and financing, with respect to products that lead to waste. In the fulfillment of this duty, they must consider the product cycle and respect for the management hierarchy. The remaining subjects covered by the management chain must comply with the obligations specifically assigned to them in the framework of the policies and programs.
And Public-Private Cooperation is key: The objectives, content, and actions that arise from the implementation of this law must be designed and/or agreed upon with the private sector in order to obtain transparent and timely public policies that are also effective in their implementation.
This Law covers all stages of the value chain and lifecycle of a good, product, or service, which includes the extraction and provision of resources, design and production, commercialization, and consumption, as well as the comprehensive and inclusive management of urban solid waste.