Shortly before her death last year, former environment minister Edna Molewa described the circular economy as a "trillion-dollar opportunity", with huge potential for innovation, job creation and economic growth. The concept of a circular economy differs from the traditional linear economy, in which virgin resources are extracted, processed and then dumped as waste. By attempting to extend the life of natural resources by recycling, reusing and recirculating them, the aim is to "close the loop" and reduce waste and inefficiency. As part of the SA-European Union Development and Co-operation Agreement, the government hoped to co-operate more closely with EU members on circular economy initiatives - with an initial focus on tyres, paper and packaging, lighting and electrical and electronic wastes. But there's a hitch Noting that nearly 90% of SA's waste was still dumped in landfills, Molewa said the government had identified several sectors where wealth could be extracted from the so-c...

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