Series Five Round-Up: Small Parts of a Powerful Movement
Throughout season five of our podcast, we've been talking about the Circular Economy and its intersection with all things digital and software. The last couple of years have been strange and difficult for many of us, and it was inspiring to hear how so many people are dedicating their lives and their businesses to building a better world.
Loop: Bringing Zero Waste Packaging to a Supermarket Near You
Of all the plastic that’s produced every year around the world, a paltry nine percent is recycled. The rest is incinerated or put straight into landfill, causing further pollution to the environment and resulting in eye-watering amounts of waste – especially when you consider that the raw materials used to make plastic are fossil fuels. Recycling company Terracycle has been on a mission to “recycle the unrecyclable'' since its founding in 2001.
The Circular Opportunity: African Stories: How We Made It
We’re still buzzing from our latest project launch and wanted to share the behind the scenes story. This project was a great example of something that started with just an idea and a desire to contribute to the circular economy community. So just like on the African Stories site, let’s start an adventure, and discover how we built it.
Reath: Digital Infrastructure for Packaging Reuse
Single use packaging poses a huge environmental problem. The cosmetics industry alone produces 142 billion pieces of packaging every year – and less than 10 percent gets recycled. Pioneering environmental campaigners and data experts, Claire Rampen and Emily Rogers, decided to do something about it. Together, they founded Reath, a software company that helps businesses adopt safe, compliant and scalable reuse systems.
Unusual: Refurbishing an Old Business Model for a Sustainable Future
Implementing circular practices can reinvigorate a company, allowing business leaders to truly live by their sustainability values. Tom Harper, managing director of Unusual Rigging, provides a perfect example of how this can happen, and how the positive effects ripple outward.
Nuw: A sustainable, community-minded alternative to fast fashion
The fashion industry is responsible for more carbon emissions than international flights and maritime shipping combined. On the production side, garment manufacturing is extremely water intensive, and when it comes to waste, the problems are even worse: So-called ‘fast fashion’ and luxury brands alike burn millions of unused items every year, creating thousands of tonnes of toxic fumes. Mountains of unused garments also end up in landfill, which leads to a slew of environmental problems.
One of the key pillars of the Circular Economy is designing waste out of the system – but in order for this to happen we first need to understand the current situation. According to the World Bank, humans produce two billion tonnes of urban waste each year, with that figure set to rise to three and a half billion tonnes by 2050. Today, at least a third of this waste is mismanaged through burning or dumping, causing lasting environmental damage.