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COVID-19 and the circular economy

The resource crisis The world is facing a resource crisis. Due to rapid population growth and an ‘onwards and upwards’ economic model, we are consuming resources at almost twice the speed that the planet can replenish them. Every year, more than 100 billion tonnes of raw materials enter the global economy. The waste crisis And we’re not just over-consuming resources – we’re also wasting them. Instead of improving, our waste seems to be getting worse. Two years ago, 9.1 per ...
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The five keys to a circular business

The circular economy paradigm has been gaining traction recently, especially as the pandemic has revealed the vulnerability and challenges of a disrupted global supply chain. Today, many businesses are looking to solve supply chain issues and become a more sustainable, circular business. Key areas in sustainable business Some businesses have identified five key areas that lead to a circular business model while also minimising costs, increasing customer satisfaction, mitigating risk, growing profits, and enabling resilience. Responsible design Businesses can design ...
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We need certainty on recycled plastics

We all want to do the right thing and put plastic in the correct recycling bin. But if there is no market for recycled plastic, funding the recycling process gets difficult. A sure market One way to improve recycling rates is for governments to buy more recycled materials. Australian Council of Recycling chief Pete Shmigel says governments could sell recycled materials to roads agencies that would use them. Another 100,000 tonnes of soft plastics could be used if two road ...
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We love single-use plastic bans

We support the single-use plastic bans that are being discussed and enforced around the world. Their goal is to reduce plastic pollution and the unsustainable use of fossil fuel to make packaging. Single-use plastic bans are a great way to speed up the transition towards a circular economy. The first state in Australia … South Australia is the first state in Australia to pass a single-use plastic ban. In this momentous move, they are tackling plastic waste in the foodservice ...
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Bioplastic myths busted

Bioplastics, PLA-lined coffee cups and compostable packaging have been in the spotlight with much confusion surrounding their end-of-life and what they are. While it’s great to see bioplastics in the media, the inaccurate reporting is confusing consumers and underestimating the potential benefit these materials can have in diverting organic waste from landfill cleaning up recycling streams and reducing the amount of plastic polluting the world’s oceans. In this article, I will debunk 10 of these myths and misconceptions about bioplastics. ...
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The council leading organics recycling

Tweed Council’s organics processing Tweed Shire Council has seen work commence on their new organics processing facility, which is a step towards their long-term zero-waste commitment. This facility, capable of dealing with nearly 21,000 tonnes of food and garden organics annually, will be linked with the council’s green bin kerbside collection program. It will function as an enclosed composting facility, with features such as 99KW solar power system expected to offset 22% of its power consumption. Rainwater will be captured ...
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Why zero-waste restaurants are the answer

Why a zero-waste restaurant? Australians produce 70 million tonnes of waste each year. This includes 8 million milk bottles per day – numbers that are simply hard to comprehend. The world needs to move towards a closed-loop, zero-waste economy – currently, our food becomes less nourishing as our soils are mined, and there are reports of an unprecedented drop in fertility across the western world along with escalating spending on healthcare. Zero-waste includes implementing a circular economy model where food ...
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Never let a good crisis go to waste

Never let a good crisis go to waste, or so the saying goes. First credited to Winston Churchill, the saying still applies today as businesses look to find opportunity in a disrupted market. COVID-19 as a catalyst The disruption COVID-19 has caused can provide a catalyst for innovation for entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. The way people consume goods and services has changed, giving businesses opportunities to implement changes that were difficult before, but may be easier now. Imagine there ...
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How pet foods are leading sustainability

The pet food industry is going green! Read on for some trends in the pet food market, including exciting news from the UK … Pet food trends In the UK, pet food trends are surprisingly aligned with human trends: 43% of dog owners believe it’s healthier to limit the amount of red meat, and even encourage a plant-based doggy diet. And, just as veganism has seen a rise in popularity, so has sustainability. According to consumer research, goods marketed with ...
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Success story: how one business is making zero-waste coffee

The social enterprise start-up Kua, thanks to a City of Sydney grant, has devised the zero-waste solution of ‘lending’ coffee beans to local businesses and taking back the coffee grounds for re-use. What is Kua doing? Kua delivers specialty Ugandan-grown coffee beans in benchtop canisters to Sydney workplaces through a subscription-based model. The used grounds are then provided to community gardnes throughout Sydney. These recipients include Indigrow, an Aboriginal Social Enterprise, along with smaller organisations like the Randwick Community Garden ...
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