The Green Screen Film Festival hosted a screening and panel discussion focused on the sustainability conversation recently to highlight ways Trinidad and Tobago can reduce its environmental footprint.
A media release said, the panel discussion From Linear to Circular: closing the loop in TT included environmental activists and researchers from TT, Sweden, India, and the Philippines.
The festival sought to answer the question “What is the circular economy and why should we care about it?"
Anaadi Pooran, a research assistant at Costaatt is leading efforts on the Catalysation of Circular Economy Project, a collaborative initiative between COSTAATT and the Cropper Foundation, and defined the circular economy in her opening remarks, the release said.
Pooran said a circular economy has three main elements, it’s an economic model, it seeks to retain and keep materials in use in a circular flow or a loop, and, it’s a tool for sustainable development.
Siel Foundation founder Sian Cuffy Young sought to focus on the concept of circularity while pointing out that its central elements had already played a small role in our society.
“When we talk circular economy we’re talking about reduction, we’re talking about reuse, we’re talking about repurposing but we’re also talking about creating a network of resources,” she said.
“We already have the tools and resources to make better decisions to make better choices. And to also recognice that being a part of a network with other like-minded organisations of like-minded individuals also fits, it’s not just the tangible but it can also work for the intangible as well.”
Vaish Srinivasa, circular entrepreneur and founder of Swedish-based furniture rental company Cohabit came up with the idea after observing the amount of waste that would occur at the end of every academic year.
“There is already enough for everyone to use it’s just that how do we get it back into circulation so that someone who needs it is able to get it from someone who does not need it.”
Jed Manguera also of Cohabit says the reintegration of resources into society solves the problem from both the demand and supply side in a culture already given to reusing a variety of products, the release said.
Festival director, Carver Bacchus says while TT’s waste generation statistics remain unflattering, recent events have seen an increase in circular practice adoption
“Some communities are beginning to appreciate the importance of recycling and waste reduction programmes as we battle with flooding and other negative environmental impacts. Eliminating waste leads to greater efficiency and reducing pollution has knock-on positive effects for public health.”
He continued “If we are able to identify clear opportunities to develop initiatives in the circular economy the effects can be overwhelmingly positive and far-reaching.”