The green transition that the world is moving towards is multi-faceted. When laypeople talk of a green transition, they generally refer to renewable energy. However, a clean, green transition combines the aspects of sustainability, renewable energy, and circular economic practices into one whole.
The push for countries and companies worldwide to go green is becoming more and more relevant as we endanger ourselves further with continued devastation and destruction through legacy economic activities. Larger countries are important in motivating and inspiring smaller countries to employ circular economy strategies. Argentina is one of these countries inspired by steps made in the US and Europe. It has been making considerable progress in its transition to clean energy and, hopefully, a full shift toward a circular economy.
In its effort to become greener, Argentina and its most populous city, Buenos Aires, have been making positive strides in doing so. In 2021, the Circular Economy Network was established in Buenos Aires, including 300 different private and public sector entities that are promoting recycling efforts, the reuse of resources across industries, and responsible consumption.
The Sello Verde (Green Seal) represents positive waste management practices in government, residential, and commercial buildings and has been awarded to 142 institutions as of September 2022. Recycling has also seen a rise, with over 50% of all residents reporting their recycling in Buenos Aires, up from 35% in 2015. Work done by Arq. Marcelo Parodi M. demonstrates the impact that circular economic practices can have on the renewable energy sector. His partnership with GENNEIA, Argentina’s largest renewable energy company, has resulted in donating and reusing 47 large wooden spools and 730 pallets. These were used in the creation of furniture for schools and communities.
Other groups, such as Closed Loop Fashion, have been meeting with manufacturers and local brands to promote circular economic practices in that industry. However, despite the positive changes in Argentina, there is still no legislation mandating circular economic activities, nor is there any regulatory framework for industry to follow. The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) found in its report, Inventory of Policies Related to the Green Economy in Argentina, that “the recycling sector continues to be highly vulnerable, and it is the instance of the industrial chain with the highest predominance of informality, labor precariousness, low income, hazardous jobs, and even child labor.” In its conclusion, though, it outlined comprehensive steps future governments could take to solidify the green future it wants.
Serious steps must be taken for any green transition to succeed. The Argentine government has moved in some ways for a greener future but ultimately hasn’t set down any hardline rules in place to guarantee that for its people. As we go forward, steps taken by other governments for a circular economy will prove to other countries that these possibilities are realistic, economically beneficial, and ecological.
Hopefully, serious changes will be implemented soon as we continue to deal with the serious consequences of our legacy production methods. There is reason to hope, though, as the steps taken already indicate a demand by the Argentine population to secure their green future.