Ecological Responsibility and Sustainable Development as Preconditions for Development of the Concept of Circular Economy

Ecological Responsibility and Sustainable Development as Preconditions for Development of the Concept of Circular Economy

Olja Munitlak Ivanovic (Institute of Economic Sciences, Serbia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7915-1.ch001

Abstract

Ethical and ecological responsibility represent the root of sustainable development taking into account intergenerational justice. Mass production and consumption have left negative effects on the environment. Disregarding ecological responsibility, production processes were mainly based on uncontrollable use of raw materials and non-renewable energy sources. Taking into account limitation of raw materials, economic and ecological disasters, a concept of resilience has been developed to make all elements of society flexible in terms of unwanted shocks. This chapter describes two conceptual economic models: linear and circular. The linear model is based on the principle “take, produce, consume, and throw,” meaning that usability of waste is reduced and that waste is simply thrown out after consumption. Circular economic model takes into account environmental responsibility, but it also makes companies more competitive. Waste is treated and processed adequately and used as raw material in production, thus increasing competitiveness. Waste that cannot be processed is disposed permanently.
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Background On Ecological Responsibility

Ethical or ecological responsibility is not a new discipline, but the approach to interpreting of producer and consumer's behavior towards nature and environment has changed. A new ethical approach emphasizes the significance of components making the concept of ecological ethics itself. Many of these components are the result of high industrialization of society: economic and social justice, value pluralism, modern moral standards with regard to the environment, new forms of multiculturalism etc. (Cifric, 2000).

The question up to what level it is ecologically justified to use natural resources is an ethical question relating to intragenerational and intergenerational justice of sustainable development (Munitlak Ivanovic, 2017). This question is a basis for formulating of an adequate economic model (circular economy) that respects the concept of resilience as well (with a special emphasis to ecological and economic resilience) (Munitlak Ivanovic, & Zubovic, 2017). Speaking of ethical and ecological considerations, two conceptual bases are predominant in literature (Jost, 1996), namely (1) Perception of the concept of sustainable development based on science and (2) Perception of the concept of sustainable development based on human will.

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