Close The Loop Ontario

Economic Development Research For The Circular Economy

Economic Benefits of a Waste Free Ontario

1
Full-Time Jobs
1 $
Billion in GDP Boost
1 $
Million in Tax Savings

About Close The Loop Ontario:

The objective of Close The Loop Ontario is to analyze Zero Waste policy from the Economic Development perspective. Bill 151, Ontario’s Waste Free Act, was passed on December 2016 to increase waste diversion rates, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and create thousands of jobs in the Circular Economy.

Unfortunately, the Economic Development field has not paid much attention to Zero Waste policy and Circular Economy theory, so the path to a Waste Free Ontario is unclear. It is also very challenging to envision a Zero Waste city or region when much of the production of consumer goods now takes place at a global scale.

Since the field of Economic Development focuses largely on adapting to the manufacturing trends and rapid technological advancements that have taken place since the 1980’s, the study of Zero Waste policy and Circular Economy theory can provide great insights for the development of businesses processes and technological innovation that improve a region’s productivity.

3 Reasons to Increase Circularity in Ontario:

1- Decouple Growth:

According to Ontario’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Ontario’s overall diversion rate has stalled at 25 percent during the past decade. The main reason is that, despite the many efforts to lower carbon emissions and recycle materials, Ontario is consuming more resources than ever. This trend is in tandem with increasing consumption levels at the national and international level. Global demand for limited resource stocks would reach 130 billion tons by 2050, up from 50 billion in 2014. The demand for resources is largely due to the high rate of replacement of consumer goods that is characterized by the current Linear Economy. For a sense of how linear the global economy is, McKinsey reports that about 80 percent of the $3.2 trillion worth of materials it uses each year is not recovered.

2- Mitigate Risks and Costs:

As the linear economy depletes limited stocks, price volatilities and supply chain interruptions will cost the global economy US$4.5 trillion in lost global economic growth by 2030, or US$25 trillion by 2050. Furthermore, increased levels of consumption is increasing pressure on government spending. According to Statistics Canada, local government expenditures for waste management in Canada increased from $1.8 billion in 2004 to $3.2 billion in 2012.

3- Increase Economic Productivity:

Increasing waste diversion in Ontario from the current 23 per cent diversion rate to 60 per cent, would boost the province’s GDP by $1.5 billion and create nearly 13,000 in new direct and indirect full-time jobs. Furthermore, increasing diversion rates would have a significant impact on local government expenditures. Based on current local government expenditures for waste management in Canada, the province of Ontario could save approximately $600 million by increasing the diversion rate to 60%.