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Circular economies - crazy amounts of upside

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

A report called the “Potential Economic Pay-Off of a Circular Economy” was commissioned in 2020, to understand the financial benefits of Australia going circular.

There would be endless benefits - as the report states: “Circular activities and processes not only extend the usable life of products but also extend their value, create new jobs and raise economic growth.”

It goes on to highlight 8 “opportunities” for further development towards achieving a more circular economy - I’m not going to pretend I’ve read all 63 pages of it (yet, I’ve skimmed), but all of the opportunities essentially talk about reducing waste in some form by either eliminating it, or managing it better. For example, car sharing:

“The benefits of adopting car sharing go beyond environmental benefits. A study on the impact of car sharing for the City of Sydney found that each car share vehicle in the sharing network represented a $60,000 annual net value to the City, translating to an annual benefit of $48 million for the current network of around 800 vehicles. This included direct benefits such as savings associated with not owning a car, as well as savings accruing to reductions in congestion and car crashes due to lower private car use.”

Other examples include turning organic waste into biogas (a renewable and clean energy source which can be converted into heat or electricity) and reducing food waste, of which the two-thirds comes from households and primary producers.

Waste reduction and innovative management of it will be a huge opportunity this decade.

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