A ‘circular city’ at TIC

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Cropper Foundation CEO Omar Mohammed –

OVER 20 local organisations will demonstrate circular economy in action at the Circular City at the 2024 edition of the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC), July 11-13.

A news release from the Cropper Foundation on June 29 said its presentation of the Circular City at this year’s TIC aims to centre circular economy principles and activities in a space created to explore possibilities and opportunities for Caribbean businesses.

“Identified as the sustainable counterpart to the linear economy, the circular economy is premised on the principles of reduction, reuse and recovery. It emphasises the maintenance of value of materials and products for as long as possible, and the options for regenerating value once they have reached the end of their useful life,” it added.

The organisers of the Circular City said they are hoping to drive this conversation with the business community and the wider public by showcasing local entrepreneurs and community organisations integrating sustainability and circularity in their delivery of products and services.

Cropper Foundation CEO Omar Mohammed said, “We think TIC is an ideal space to share the efforts of SMEs, NGOs and state actors who’ve been in the trenches, taking the risks, and doing the hard work and the research in the waste sector. It’s the common ground we need to meet and engage our different audiences and we’re looking forward to it.”

The release added, “Across the world, states have been wrestling with waste management challenges, attributed in the main to the dominant linear economic model of ‘take-make-use-waste.’ The situation is no less pressing in TT, as evidenced in SWMCOL’s 2023 Waste Characterisation Study, which shows that over the period 2020-2022 the amount of (unsorted) waste piling into Trinidad’s landfills peaked to around 770,000 tonnes.”

CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association, host of the TIC, Dr Mahindra Ramesh Ramdeen said, “We are excited to host the first Circular City at the Trade and Investment Convention as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. We wish to affirm our dedication to sustainable innovation and envisioning a future where resources are cherished, reused, and rejuvenated. This event represents a significant milestone where collaboration catalyses transformation, forging a resilient future for T&T.”

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA), a sponsor of the Circular City, said, “[Its] participation highlights its pivotal role and continued commitment to sustainability and the promotion of the circular economy as part of the solution to the global climate emergency by adopting a re-think, re-create, re-cycle, re-generate mindset towards a more sustainable future.”

The Circular City is the culmination of the five month-long digital campaign Daz Good Ting – a consumer behaviour change campaign that aims to encourage people to minimise waste by engaging these 5 Rs: reduce, reuse, repair, repurpose, recycle.

Daz Good Ting was hatched in 2023 in a collaborative brainstorming process involving a small multi-stakeholder group (Siel Environmental Services Ltd, Hello Green, EMA, Cashew Gardens Community Council, Every Bottle Back and The Cropper Foundation), facilitated by Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi.

The campaign is part of the wider IDB-Lab funded project “Catalysing and Connecting the Circular Economy in Trinidad and Tobago.” This project has supported the realisation of various initiatives including the creation of the Container Recycling Services Ltd, responsible for Every Bottle Back, the Green Screen Environmental Film Festival’s Circular Economy category prize in the 2023 Very Short Shorts Mobile Film Competition; and the Full Circle Challenge hosted by Costaatt.

For updates on the Circular City and more information on the Daz Good Ting campaign, follow @thecropperfndn and @dazgoodting across Instagram and Facebook.