World Economic Forum, Published September 5, 2022, Mo Chatterji
Hundreds of millions of tons of waste end up in landfills yearly – actual wastelands of everything from mattresses to electrical equipment to unworn clothes, determined to be worthless and no longer needed.
Extending the value of such things and the materials they’re made of will lessen our reliance on extraction – raw material extraction – something our current economy is pretty good at and which translates into high sales-related profits. This shift would stem the environmental impacts of extraction, such as polluting waste streams and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Using things longer” isn’t as simple as it sounds and understanding how to maximize the value of a product and its materials “post-consumer” is critical for a circular economy to work.