18 Jun

Why we’ll still need waste in a circular economy


Find another use for it. Steve Buissinne/PixabayCC BY

(The original article was published here by The Conversation.)

Every year, we buy 30 billion tonnes of stuff, from pizza boxes to family homes. We throw out or demolish 13 billion tonnes of it as waste – about 2 tonnes per person. A third of what we discard was bought the same year. The extraction, use and discarding of so much stuff creates a large environmental burden, from the depletion of minerals to the destruction of rainforests.

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04 Feb

New article on waste in the circular economy

The article focuses on EU waste legislation and the need to balance between regulating waste for environmental and health protection, and promoting waste prevention through resource cycling. We suggest a new requirement for “recognising use potential” to counterbalance the very restrictive definition of waste. Access the article here.

27 Jan

Publication in Journal for Cleaner Production

Last month we published this paper on the limitations of the waste hierarchy for achieving absolute reductions in material throughput in the economy. The waste hierarchy is an established rule of thumb for waste management and prioritizes waste prevention over reuse, recycling, incineration, and landfill. The paper describe the origins of the waste hierarchy and compares its original aims with its current use and implementation. The paper concludes that the hierarchy in itself is not sufficient and instead needs to be used within an overarching framework to achieve dematerialization of the economy. The article was published with Open Access in the Journal for Cleaner Production.

 

07 Jul

Can Resource Productivity save the Climate?

Graph blog V2 SVE July 2014

(This article first appeared at the ISR blog)

The success of a country is commonly measured by its total economic output, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Acknowledging the pivotal role of natural resources in creating such wealth, the European Union is now promoting resource productivity as a leading indicator of progress. Resource productivity is measured as the ratio between economic output and material input, and is supposed to show advancement towards sustainable growth.

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