We all know that the future lies in sustainable resources, the extension of the life cycle of materials, and consequently the reduction of waste. This is nicely described by the so-called Circular economy theory.
On the other hand, everything is connected. What happens on one side of the planet, affects all life around the globe. One of the concepts that deal with that idea is the Gaia hypothesis.
These two concepts together give us an idea of not only the seriousness of the problem but the urgency of finding the solution as well.
The driving force of the sustainable development: Circular economy and Gaia hypothesis
The circular economy is a model of production and consumption. It involves sharing, reusing, refurbishing, recycling, and other forms of prolonged usage of existing materials and products for as long as possible. When a product is used up, its materials are used for building another product and so on, thereby creating further value.
Besides producing cheaper new materials, the other important goal is to reduce waste and pollution to a minimum and therefore regenerate nature.
Another theory that strongly influences evolution is the Gaia hypothesis. It implies that living entities connect with their inorganic environmental elements on Earth, forming a complex and self-regulating system that perpetuates the conditions for sustaining life.
It indicates that the organisms and their evolution affect the saltiness of seawater, atmospheric oxygen levels, the stability of the planet’s temperature, and similar. Everything is connected.
These two theories are great on paper but not very usable in everyday life.
The gap between the theory and real-life situation
The main problem that constantly appears as an obstacle is the lack of ideas and the underdevelopment of basic technological solutions. In theory, we have come to know and imagine what the circular economy is and how the theory of connectivity affects the entire planet.
From there, we haven’t moved much. There are still piles of garbage, plastic, rubber, etc., which we do not know how to process well enough to make them perfectly usable again. The major problem lies in the manufacturing quality of the secondary material. The recycled material is only in theory as good as the original – or virgin – material.
Therefore, many recycled products – like, recycled plastics or metals – do not meet the demanding industry criteria. For example, plastics contain various compositions of additives, such as “stone” in the form of calcium carbonate (CoCO3) or other impurities.
Let’s look at the container of fabric softener. Its virgin material is, although this is not obvious, very complex. It consists of six layers. The outer layer should be nice, smooth, and eye-catchy. The inner layer must be resistant to chemicals, obviously. The four layers in-between should just make the plastic strong enough and sufficiently rigid. These are the layers where the stone in a form of calcium carbonate is added.
But why would someone put a stone into plastic? Because such a composition is about 30% cheaper than the one without CaCO3.
When the fabric softener’s plastic bottle is recycled, the layers of plastic cannot be separated. All six of them are processed together and form a new material This one is of lower quality than virgin material, homogeneous in structure, and has different properties.
Such plastic is no longer suitable for basic purposes – for example, high-quality plastic containers. Nevertheless, many companies disregard this fact. They still use recycled materials for making even hi-tech products. Not so rarely, the consequences are an increased number of customers’ complaints and reclamations.
Consciousness and responsibility – are they enough?
Recycled materials definitely have a future. Not as a substitute for the virgin material but as a source for the production of less quality, secondary material. For instance, high-quality plastic – which is recycled and mixed with low-quality plastic – can be used for producing plastic bags.
But this is only a partial solution. Of the seven billion tonnes of plastic waste generated globally to date, less than ten percent has been recycled.
What about the other waste? What to do with materials that cannot be recycled into something useful?
It is not likely that we will stop producing waste or drastically reduce the packaging. (The latter represents forty percent of all waste plastic.) We do not have consciousness developed enough and a built-in impulse to, for example, disregard a product if it is wrapped in luxury and eye-catchy packaging.
It is quite the opposite. Many times, the packaging highly contributes to the buyer’s purchasing decision. If you have available a good product in beautiful packaging and a similar one without packaging, which one would you choose?
In theory, we could establish a new trend of buying naked products, without packaging. But this would be potentially successful only if buyers get some additional, concrete advantage – in addition to their environmental consciousness. For example, a significantly lower price. In this case, the situation would press on his much stronger impulse: saving. However, we are far from there.
That’s why the circular economy doesn’t live up to its full potential. It is good and encouraging that people’s awareness and responsibility towards the environment are rising. However, things are moving too slowly.
Themis Ecosystem fills the gap
The Themis Ecosystem can shine a new light on the two concepts, the Gaia hypothesis and Circular economy, and bring them to life.
So what is Themis Ecosystem exactly? It is a business environment where new, breakthrough and proven technologies are exposed. The system converts their gains – the final products plus a part of CO2 reduction created in the process – into so-called Industrial Tokens (iTo).
On a special exchange called the Online Industrial Exchange (OIX), supporters can directly buy and sell these iTos. By doing that, they help reduce general CO2 emissions and also become personally CO2 negative – according to the value of the iTos owned.
For example, one of the key technologies – or, the drivers – is Project Phoenix8 (PP8). It transforms plastic waste into green electricity, with no emissions and with the highest efficiency (more than 98%) on the market. The input material is plastic waste.
So everyone is interested in collecting as much plastic waste as the production can handle. Because the more productive and successful the project is, the higher the price of the PP8 iTo. The higher the price of PP8 iTo, the more money supporters get and the more CO2 negative they become.
Consequently, supporters are interested in collecting plastic waste and encouraging others to collect it as well. When this approach goes viral, the problem of pollution with plastic waste can be drastically reduced.
Today, if people take their trash to the landfill, they get almost nothing for it. When plastic waste starts to be treated as an input raw material to produce green electricity, it gains its value.
This is how Themis Ecosystem undertakes all key industries that will be important for the next fifty to one hundred years: nutrition (food), environment and waste, energy, IT, housing, health, and transportation.
Key technologies that solve worldwide problems and supporters who drive them
Another example of Themis Exosystem is the processing of waste plastic into excellent building material for the construction of residential and industrial buildings. In this case, all parties are interested in the progress and development of the project.
The founders are interested in getting a lot of input raw materials – plastic waste – and the supporters who own Industrial Tokens are interested in bigger production as well. The third party in the process is a marketplace or buyers of houses. They support the process by buying houses because they are quality built, green, and very affordable.
There is yet another help that Themis Ecosystem offers to companies and their projects. It enables them to correctly evaluate and monetize CO2 reduction. This benefits both; the project’s owners and the buyers of their products.
Let’s look at an example. A person buys a dress made of recycled materials. The manufacturing process reduces CO2 emissions. So theoretically, every buyer could book this purchase as a contribution to general CO2 reduction and personal CO2 reduction as well.
But since the manufacturer doesn’t quantify this benefit – because he doesn’t have a CO2 reduction evaluation system developed – neither the buyer nor the manufacturer can take advantage of the CO2 reduction. If they could, the manufacturer would have an additional competitive advantage to attract buyers and investors. Similarly, by purchasing the product, the customer could be able to add this purchase to his CO2 footprint reduction.
The Themis Ecosystem solves this problem because every green technology that joins gets a clear calculation of how much CO2 it saves generally and per unit.
Summing up: the future is bright!
Themis Ecosystem is a promising solution because it solves several social and economic problems at the same time. Everyone can, without drastically changing the existing lifestyle, contribute, become carbon neutral, promote the use of only long-term relevant technologies, and earn money on the way.