Development of a Roadmap and Legislative Framework on Circular Economy for the Republic of Mauritius
Over the last decades, the Republic of Mauritius has witnessed remarkable economic growth which has led to a change in lifestyle, impacting on the way we produce and consume. This trend has led to an increase in the volume of solid waste generated, increasing by 29 percent between 2010 and 2020, and by more than 100 percent over the last 20 years. In response to these challenges, the transition to a Circular Economy paradigm provides an opportunity to review our production model and close the material loop. The circular economy approach provides systemic solutions that improves resource efficiency and reduces envrionmental impacts of the product life cycle at all stages of the process through a shift to sustainable consumption and production practices.
The Republic of Mauritius as a small island state is very limited in its resource base. The current economy model iin the ocuntry is a linear one which favours the '‘Take-Make-Dispose’ approach. This has led to an increase in the volume of solid waste generated. The average daily solid waste per capita disposed at the Mare Chicose landfill has increased from 0.6Kg in 2000 to 1.1Kg in 2019 (Circular Economy: Optimising private sector investment in Mauritius - Business Mauritius/ UNDP). In the food sector, it is estimated that Postharvest losses (PHL) of vegetables and fruits amount to 25-35%. Hence, the current linear trend leads to unsustainable practices resulting in loss of resources and impacting negatively on our natural ecosystems. Furthermore, an increase in the amount of solid waste disposed at the landfill contributes significantly in Greenhouse Gas emissions. In 2019, waste was the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions estimated at 23%.
A transition to a Circular Economy paradigm provides an opportunity to review our production model and close the material loop. For the just transition to occur, there is need for a holistic plan with clear actions and measures that will pave the way towards circular economy paradigm. As such, the development of a Roadmap and Legislative Framework Framework on Circular Economy is therefore a fundamental tool to bring about a the necessary shift to a more sustainable, low-carbon, inclusive development strategy. This Roadmap would provide a shared vision, the strategies, policies and goals, enabling instruments, incentives, regulatory and institutional frameworks as well building synergies among national stakeholders in the identified key sectors.
The formulation of the Roadmap and Legislative Framework on Circular is also in line with the 2022 UNEA 5.2 Resolution on “Enhancing circular economy” which underscores the urgency to accelerate a structural transformation of the way we manage our natural resources, consume and produce.