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Minn. Companies Turn to Circular Economy Concept to Reduce Waste, Increase Recycling Efforts

Minn. Companies Turn to Circular Economy Concept to Reduce Waste, Increase Recycling Efforts

In Minnesota, companies have created a new group called the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition, which is made up of members who identify solutions that no individual company could pursue and achieve on its own.

The coalition, which is comprised of local nonprofits, government agencies, companies and schools, supports the circular economy concept and focuses on three main areas: energy, water and organic recycling.

MPR News has more details:

Imagine yourself in a native prairie. Birds and insects feed on plants. When they die, they decompose and nourish the soil. The prairie lifecycle forms a circle, where waste from one species is used by another, year after year.

Now, take a walk on a busy city street. Cars and trucks spit out pollution from their tailpipes. Disposable cups, plastic bags and the occasional broken umbrella fill up garbage cans. In the distance, a coal-fired power plant spews carbon pollution while sending out electrons to keep the economy humming. A sprinkler system keeps grass and petunia plantings hydrated — with drinking water, and any overflow trickles through storm sewers and down the Mississippi.

"Most of the industrial revolution we have essentially extracted raw materials, used them, sold what we can and got rid of what we couldn't sell," said Raj Rajan, the technical lead for sustainability efforts at Ecolab, one of the companies involved in the new Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition. He says the idea behind the coalition is to identify solutions that no individual company could pursue on its own.

Read the full story here.

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