Have you ever opened the box of your latest online purchase and discovered that it’s mostly empty space? Where do the materials for latest gadget come from? Would you be okay with having a landfill near your house?
We no longer live in a linear world. Before, we’d make a product, use it and then send it to landfill. Now it’s got life after use! In a circular fashion, the product can be repurposed back into something useful. This saves money on the next generation of products and cuts out the harmful repercussions of vast amounts of landfill. So, lets get onto some circular economy benefits.
It helps your planet!
Firstly, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that putting all our rubbish in the ground isn’t good for our environment. When it’s all compacted down under the soil, all the oxygen is squashed out. Without oxygen, the microbes that thrive in the ground are anaerobic, meaning they respire without oxygen.
When they begin to break down the rubbish, they release methane as a by-product of living. Methane is one of the more potent greenhouse gases responsible for the unnatural warming of the earth. Therefore, by avoiding sending waste to landfill, you’re avoiding contributing to the climate crisis.
Not only this but think of all the harmful chemicals that would be in your waste. Old mobile phones contain toxic metals. Bottles of old cleaning materials contain dangerous chemicals. Plastic packaging breaks down enough to be soluble. As a consequence, when rainwater moves through the landfill, it filters into the water that we drink. Therefore, it’s a health hazard.
Raw materials are finite
Secondly, have you ever thought about where the materials for your latest purchase come from? Some materials, such as metal and plastic, are from raw materials in the ground. If we chuck them away without reusing them, it’s a waste of these resources. Plastic is made from oil and oil is becoming more scarce.
As a consequence, miners are taking more risks to find it. This often included destroying forests or polluting the land and sea. Reusing sources is clearly a no-brainer!
Opens up jobs and innovation
Not only does the circular economy help your environment, but it brings economic benefits too. By opening up a whole sector dedicated to the recycling and reuse of waste materials, we create thousands of jobs.
Also, we must create solutions for a circular economy. By encouraging the reuse and recycling of our waste, we are encouraging innovation. Have you ever heard of the ‘David Attenborough Effect’? It is when David Attenborough’s TV documentaries make people talk about the environment. Now, people are demanding an explanation as to why we aren’t investing in the circular economy to save our environment.
Recently, China put its foot down and refused to take our rubbish. For years, we’d been shipping waste plastic overseas because we couldn’t cope with it. China themselves are struggling to save their own environment and took the step to save themselves from more tragedy. Therefore, it’s becoming more important for the UK and countries alike, to deal with their own waste. By pledging to move into a circular economy, they are stepping up to tackle problems head-on!
From growing and cutting down trees to manufacturing it into cardboard, the process is costly. However, if the cardboard is already made, we can reprocess it back into useful cardboard. As a consequence, it reduces the number of trees cut down and the amount of manufacturing in the process. Less manufacturing, less cost. Don’t forget – less landfill too!
A landfill is expensive. Each year, councils across the UK have a landfill allowance. One council alone can spend up to £4 million in landfill tax. And this excludes the cost of building one! Not only this but fines of £150 occur for every tonne of biodegradable waste (waste that breaks down easily like food) over their allowance. Every year this allowances reduces to meet UK Government targets, the allowance can be as much as 100,000 tonnes. It’s not that hard to see how much it would cost a council in fines to go over by even just one percent.
Finally, another example of how to save money is by repurposing waste food. Over 1.9 million tonnes of food ends up in the bin in the UK each year. If we stopped food from going to landfill, we could save food and money. We could give food to those who haven’t got any. In addition to this, waste can go into making pet food. Not only this but a process called ‘Anaerobic Digestion’ can make energy from this waste.
Circular Economy Benefits
The possibilities really are endless. With so many innovations, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t adopting the circular economy approach. We’re doing our bit by ensuring all our packaging is capable of being reused and recycled. We have clear labelling and offer advice to our customers on saving money and materials. So if you want to find out more about our approach to a circular economy, get in touch.