It’s election year here in Sweden and all the different political parties are already trying to surpass each other in what they can offer. And with very few exceptions, it’s all about “growth”. In order to create prosperity and jobs, our industries and institutions need to grow. However, even if we want to look the other way, we must begin to realise that our beloved Earth is already “full”. We are already operating at more than 140% capacity and we are now planning to run the economy faster and harder. It is not possible to have nine billion people in a growing quantitative economy. Given that we have limited resources and wealth and can’t grow either significantly, we have to share. And everything needs to be recycled. There is quite simply not enough arable land to be able to produce enough food for 9 billion people in addition to all the renewable materials required for power generation (energy), industry (products) and also wood to burn to be able to remove excess CO2 from our atmosphere.
According to Kenneth Boulding, “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist”. Or a politician, of course. We need to face the fact that it’s not going to happen. Recycling will be key and, in the grease trade, we need to contribute by developing recyclable products using already recycled materials.
So how do we filter our “sponge full of water” ?