Nature always performs Circular Economy in one way or the other, so the planet will always survive! However, which species on it will be able to do so too depends on how its biggest resource consumers return to the principles of balance in Nature! And that is primarily about how mankind manages its largest resource consumptions – out of which all Carbon is representing 57%! So how much anthropogenic re-Use of Carbon do we practice today? It is limited to plastic- and paper- recycling, food production- waste use for animal feed and properly done composting only – but definitively nothing that is undertaken so called energy recovery! Once Carbon is burned, it is chemically destroyed into CO2 and depends on nature’s free capacity for carbohydrate synthesis, absorption or mineralization, currently 40% overloaded every year, having already built an over boarding atmospheric Carbon stock.
Therefore any use of carbonaceous resource should respect Carbon Efficiency as the top priority criteria. Modern Technology has made accelerated emulation of nature possible even allowing to separate out impurities we do not want to stay in the cycle, that in bio-degradation or under incineration can still cumulate in our environment and get into the natural food chain. For example hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals or all kinds of chlorine compounds etc., that incineration can never completely eliminate or prevent from cumulating in the vicinity of any ever lowest emission rate flue gas cleaning.
I have most respect from anyone advocating for whatever kind of circular economy! But if it still lacks Carbon Recycling in terms of Capture from End of Life Cycle matter for reintroducing as much of it as possible back into the cycle of matter to achieve a best effort fresh fossil Carbon import substitution and highest possible Carbon Efficiency in overall use of Carbon resources, it may just be an incremental solution, not suited to change the current game of extinguishing habitats, polluting oceans and poisoning livelihoods’ food chains at some profiteers’ empowerment at the expenses of civilization, cynically justified by a “the polluter having to pay” principle. But in reality every consumer pays for pollutants he never had a say on whether they got disseminated or not, nor on how ultimate residues may get trashed! There is no B2C producer or retailor who wouldn’t add any cost to sales into the final shelf price of what we buy.
With growing populations undergoing urbanization and needing new logistics for web-commerce we must change the game in how we can deal with end of lifecycle Carbon other than mindless energy recovery for CO2 discharge into the atmosphere, often only putting other power generation stations into idling mode because of mismatching demands. For a World in Carbon Balance we need all Circular Economy advocates to embark on Carbon Recycling for the principle of Carbon Efficiency!