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Why Can Jieshou's Circular Economy Develop Healthily and Rapidly? — Misunderstanding of Circular Economy and Practice in Jieshou
Time:2020-04-29 Source: Views:7
Abstract: Located at the border of Henan and Anhui Province, the city of Jieshou is the northwest gate of Anhui Province. It covers an area of 667.3 square kilometers with a population of 802,000. Since 2004, Jieshou relying on the renewable resources, has cultivated two comprehensive utilization industries of recycled metal and recycled plastic, to accelerate the development of circular economy. In recent years, the circular economy industry in Jieshou has maintained a high growth momentum. The contribution rate of circular economy to Jieshou industry has always retained above 70%. Circular economy not only supports the economic development of Jieshou healthily and rapidly, but also generates multiple benefits in economy, society, resources, ecology, etc. The practice of the Jieshou shows that only by steadfastly taking the road of environmental protection, innovation, large-scale and standardized development, can circular economy develop in a healthy and rapid manner.

Keywords: circular economy, multiple benefits, environmental protection, innovation, large-scale, standardized development


He Fengyang, Mayor of Jieshou City, delivered a speech at the Ninth Regional 3R Forum, March 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

The city of Jieshou is located at the border of Henan and Anhui Province, is the northwest gate of Anhui Province. It covers an area of 667.3 square kilometers and has a population of 802,000. It is one of the six county-level cities in Anhui Province, numerous people, less land and poor resources are the basic conditions of this city. Since 2004, Jieshou relying on the renewable resources, has cultivated two comprehensive utilization industries of recycled metal and recycled plastic, to accelerate the development of circular economy.
rban clear water and blue sky

1. The Development of circular economy for ten-year upward Line and the produced four benefits

In the 1990s, the economy of Jieshou ranked the last in the Anhui province. In order to get out of the predicament, Jieshou has re-examined the renewable resources industry, adhered to the concept of circular economy to develop the renewable resources industry for more than ten years. The economic development’s upward line has been drawn up.

In 2017, the local GDP reached 18.9 billion yuan, 11% increase over the same period last year, ranking first in Anhui Province; the above-scale industrial added value was 14.7 billion yuan, an increase of 13.5%, ranking ninth and third in the total amount and growth rate of Anhui Province respectively. In 2006, the proportion of secondary industry increased from 35.1% to 58.9%. In 2018, the above-scale industrial added value achieved more than 13 billion yuan, an increase of 13.8%, total amount and rate of increase ranked the 8th and 4th respectively in Anhui Province. Circular economy not only supports the economic development of Jieshou healthily and rapidly, but also generates multiple benefits in economy, society, resources, ecology, etc.

Firstly, Economic Benefits. In recent years, the circular economy industry in Jieshou has maintained a high growth momentum. The average annual output value and tax revenue has increased by more than 40%. The contribution rate of circular economy industry to Jieshou industry has always retained above 70%. In 2017, Jieshou's circular economy industry realized output value of 50.6 billion yuan and tax of 2.5 billion yuan, respectively 40 times and 60 times higher than when it was built, which played a demonstration role in the development of resources recycling industry.

Secondly, Social Benefits. The circular economy industry in Jieshou has brought about more than 40,000 families to become rich. Farmer's per capita net income has been increased by more than 10%. It has spawned many multimillionaires and billions of enterprises, and encouraged the development of related industries such as business logistics, information and communication. At the same time, a large number of caring and public welfare entrepreneurs actively participate in activities such as "100 enterprises to help 100 villages" and caring for left-behind children, which has led to the formation of a strong atmosphere of "big love in small cities".

Thirdly, Resource Efficiency. Recycling industry of recycled lead in Jieshou Recycling utilization of 450,000 tons of waste lead-acid batteries annually, and 330,000 tons of recycled lead from smelting each year. It can save about 30 million tons of lead ore annually, and save 119,600 tons of raw coal and 439,000 tons of water, which is equivalent to building 10 large lead mining enterprises, and the lead self-sufficiency in China has been extended from ten years to fifty years. The recycling industry of recycled plastic can process and utilize 800,000 tons of recycled plastic annually, saving 3.6 million tons of petroleum, equivalent to reduce the construction of three medium-sized chemical plants. The recycling industry of copper and aluminium produces 200,000 tons of recycled copper and aluminium annually, which saves more than 10 million tons of copper and aluminium ores, greatly reduces the development of primary mineral resources by the state, and reduces energy consumption, water consumption and land resource occupation in metal smelting.

Fourthly, Ecological Benefits. Jieshou City has established a national resource recovery network system. At the present day, 100 million old storage batteries are recycled annually, it can reduce land occupation and pollution by about 3,000 square kilometers; 1.8 million tons of waste plastic recycled annually can reduce land occupation and pollution by more than 800 square kilometers. Without the Jieshou’s development of resource recycling industry, every lead-acid battery will become a real source of pollution. The waste plastic cannot be degraded for 100 years. Point pollution and flake pollution will be seen everywhere.
Jieshou signed the Indore 3R Declaration of Asian Mayors on Achieving Clean Water, Clean Land and Clean Air in Cities in Asia at the Ninth Regional 3R Forum, March 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

2. Misunderstanding of circular economy and successful practice in Jieshou.

The development of circular economy is not plain sailing; it has realized the phoenix nirvana and gaining rebirth by experiencing a lot of ups and downs. In the process of developing a circular economy, we deeply feel the discrimination and prejudice from the inside and outside of the industry for circular economy. The main misunderstandings are reflected in four aspects:

The first part of misunderstanding: Developing circular economy will inevitably pollute the environment.

At the initial stage of the development of recycling resources industry, due to the law, policy, technology and so on, it exists small-scale, scattered distribution and non-standard phenomenon. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, part of Jieshou’s people on the basis of going out to collect rubbish, begin to reprocessing original and scattered renewable resources. For a while, recycled metal industry displays the vision of "village ignition, household smoke", recycled plastic industry show the fact of "household acquisition, household processing", the scene is quite spectacular. The primitive and extensive way of operation has been reported by the masses, exposed by the media and noticed by the higher authorities, which have also made the industry with the "crime" of polluting the environment.

Faced with the passive situation, Jieshou City actively acts as follows: Firstly, strengthening environmental protection law and small scattered enterprises banned. Secondly, advocating cleaner production and encouraging enterprises to increase investment in technology upgrading. At present, all enterprises have completed the "coal to gas" transformation of boilers, and all above-scale enterprises have reached the level of cleaner production above the first level, and other enterprises have reached the level of the second level. Thirdly, developing the circular economy in accordance with the concept of Eco-industry and build China’s Karenburg. Being focused on the establishment of national Eco-industrial demonstration park, we should guide industrial transformation and upgrading, improve quality and efficiency.

The second part of misunderstanding: Circular economy is a low-end industry: At the initial stage of recycling the renewable resources, the recycling system is lack of necessary rules and regulations. Tricycles are the transport, and trumpets are marketing tools, creating a low-end impression for person. In the initial processing stage, the equipment is backward, the industrial scale is small, and most of the products are in the low end of the industrial chain, the added value of the products is low, Perceptions of being primitive, extensive and highly polluting are deeply rooted in many people's minds.

Faced with many disputes, Jieshou strives to change people's perceptions through its own practice. Firstly, we encourage close cooperation between production, education and research and keep on the way of innovation and development. Secondly, we encourage the development of industrial chain and build a new strategic emerging industrial agglomeration development base. Thirdly, we also encourage the integration of the Industrialization and informatization and actively dock with Made-in-China 2025. Through policy guidance and project planning services, Tianneng Group, Kang Mingyuan and other enterprises will be guided to accelerate the "machine replace the person" and promote industrial robots to play a demonstration role.

The third part of misunderstanding: Scale of circular economy is inversely proportional to benefit: Some people see the false impression of the small scattered enterprises making profits and think that the scale and benefit of circular economy are not equal. Some people think that keeping small scale is better for renewable resources enterprises. However, when it comes to the strategic development of enterprises and even industries, the larger the scale, the higher attention will be, and the pressure will be greater.

To resolve this misunderstanding, the city has made efforts as follows: First is collectivized operation. In accordance with the requirements of the modern enterprise system, the city actively supports the development of business groups, and introduces professional managers and financial teams so as to promote shareholding reform. The second is large-scale development. The industrial park's facilities and public research and development platform have been constantly improved, which has provided an enabling environment for business development. The companies including Tianneng, Huabo and Huaxin were listed on top 100 provincial private enterprises in 2017. In 2017, there were 6 enterprises with tax payment exceeding 100 million yuan. The third is to enhance the brand. Jieshou was rated as a national model of circular economy. The resource recycling industry in Jieshou High-tech Zone has become one of the 60 models of circular economy across the country, obtaining more than ten titles successively at national level, such as "National Circular Economy Demonstration Park”, “National Torch Featured Industrial Base", and so on.

The fourth part of misunderstanding: Standardized Enterprises is not profitable.

Many enterprises taking a circular development path in China have a high level of scientific and technological innovation, but some of them are divorced from China's real and one-sided pursuit of loftiness. Some of them are disconnected from the industrial chain. They only make slogan and they have no profit, and their economic benefits are not high. Therefore, it creates the illusion that standard enterprises are not profitable.

Faced with this misunderstanding, Jieshou has made the following efforts in guiding enterprises to standardize their development: Firstly, we standardize the financial behavior of enterprises, so that enterprises have no worries about the tax rebate of renewable resources. Secondly, we standardize the access of enterprises to the industry. Thirdly, we encourage them to actively participate in the formulation of standards, and put more restrictions on the behaviours of enterprises. Huaxin Group and Huabo Technology have been designated by the National Standardization Committee as the four standard-setting units for national recycled lead and alloy ingot standards, national recycled lead slag, waste water and lead fume and dust discharge. Huayi Group has also been designated as two local standard-setting units.
Enterprise scientific research and innovation

3. Circular economy development become the key words of Jieshou's practice

The practice of the Jieshou shows that only by steadfastly taking the road of environmental protection, innovation, large-scale and standardized development, can circular economy develop healthily and rapidly.

The first key word: Environmental protection. Firstly, circular economy is an industry that can solve environmental pollution problems. Traditional economic growth exploited a large number of resources from the earth to produce products. At the other end, a large number of waste water, exhaust gas and waste residue are discharged into the environment. However, the circular economy takes "resources-products-waste-renewable resources" as its manifestation, it's an intensified growth model. Secondly, to develop circular economy, we must insist that environmental protection is the first priority. If under the banner of circular economy, still adopted the operation of extensive production, and waste was discharged uncontrollably, the circular economy park would become a "centralized pollution discharge place". Thirdly, the development of circular economy can completely control the impact on the environment within the national norms. As long as we adhere to the development of Park-based management, establish and improve scientific supervision mechanism, and constantly guide enterprises to standardize production and upgrade the level of equipment, the impact of industrial development on the environment can be controlled within the scope prescribed by the state.

The second key word: Innovation. Firstly, circular economy itself is an innovative economy. For example, the circular economy industry of Jieshou can transform two beverage bottles into one fashionable new clothes, and turn the discarded cans into foam aluminum applied to space equipment, it is an innovation to turn waste into treasure. Secondly, there is unlimited potential for scientific and technological innovation in circular economy field. Many academicians and experts have pointed out that there is still much potential for the development of circular economy in Jieshou. At present, Jieshou is discussing with some academician teams in advanced technology, advanced concepts and other aspects of in-depth cooperation, so that it can promote the motive force of scientific and technological innovation. Thirdly, circular economy is a strategic emerging industry. Strategic emerging industries are based on breakthrough of technological and development of demand, intensive knowledge and technology can reduce the consumption of material resources. A great growth potential and comprehensive benefits are the key to support the healthy and rapid development of circular economy.


The third key word: Large-scale. Firstly, if industry is without scale, it means the industry has no vitality. Because Jieshou has 2.6 million tons of waste storage batteries, aluminium scrap and plastic scrap annually, which is an industrial scale numbered in the China, laying a solid foundation for the development of circular economy. Secondly, it is the only way from small scattering to group operation. Because Jieshou helps enterprises to get rid of family management, guide enterprises to organize shipbuilding and establish modern enterprise system, the circular economy industry can realize in a relatively short time from small to large, from disorder to norm, from scattered to centralized. Thirdly, the core of economies is the brand and quality. Only by defining the orientation of industry, strengthening the coordinated development of industry, strengthening the quality improvement and brand building in the scale economy, the core competitiveness of the industry can be enhanced in the whole China and even in the whole world.


Enterprise scale operation

The fourth key word: Standard. Firstly, the profitability of non-standard enterprises comes from the externalization of internal costs. If the enterprises relying on making profit by polluting society, the cost of pollution will ultimately be borne by themselves, and these ignorant ventures will not contain for a long period. Secondly, standard are the foundation for the survival of circular economy enterprises. It is a magic weapon for the long-term development and sustainable growth of an enterprise to establish a standardized management concept and stick to it for a long time against the market temptation without deviating from the track.. Thirdly, standardized enterprises take advantage of the development by grasping the law of industrial development cycle. The cycle law of circular economy industry is obvious, only when enterprises itself is standardized, it can then develop by taking advantage of the potential in grasping the law, so as to obtain broad development space and realize its own development and growth.

Article and photos by Jieshou Municipal Government, Anhui Province, PRC (2019)