Since the industrial revolution (200 years ago), we have been practicing linear economy; the process of taking resources and bringing them into a production process. At the end of the product’s lifecycle, the unwanted items usually landed onto landfill. Let’s face it, we were really good at it, especially the way we handled our waste. We shipped used cars to Africa, plastics to China or we stored textile waste in warehouses.
Australia landfills 20 mIllion tonnes of its core waste each year. By 2024, that waste would fill Sydney Harbour. (https://circularaustralia.com.au)
Under the pressure of climate change, an increasing population and the rising cost of resource extraction, linear is getting out of fashion and favouritism.
There is a long way ahead of us and all help is needed. The pace of change is slow as our human nature is averse to change.
It takes around 7,000 liters of water to make a typical pair of jeans. The textile industry counts for 20% of global wastewater. Textile dyeing alone accounts for 20% of global water pollution.
We generate over half a million tonnes of e-waste per annum, or 22kg per capita (among the highest of the OECD countries). (https://circularaustralia.com.au)
Fortunately, when reading upon circularity, lots of massive projects have been started up and major investments are funding the changeover.
But what can you and I do to avoid more landfill and approach our own consumption from a circular or sustainable angle?
We can start with two simply changes:
1/ We can buy local and not just local but ask about the sustainable practices within the business.
2/ We can ignore cheap overpromising overseas products.
Focus on less is more, or in the mind of the circular approach; less is longer lasting.
There are 3.3 times more jobs in recycling for every job in landfill.
Even a 5% improvement in materials efficiency would add $24 billion to Australia’s GDP. (https://circularaustralia.com.au)
Locally Crafted Australia is the supportive leading platform for local and sustainable businesses, promoting the circular mindset, and unique in connecting cross-industry members and non-members over a waste selling portal.
We have been active in this space for the last 3 years but we need lots more businesses participating and joining this movement to create an impact.
Have you come across businesses that are working sustainably, or exchanging waste?
Let us know and embark on this circular journey. At the end of the day, it all starts with you.