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Three core principles

Central to the concept of the Circular Economy are three core principles

At the centre of the circular economy practitioners’ design process and decision-making is a mandate and commitment to:

  • Reduce – design out waste and pollution
  • Preserve – keep raw materials in use and at their highest possible value
  • Regenerate – nature must be restored 

These three pillars are utilised to create closed loops that eliminate waste through smart design, rethink the nature of products and services to reuse, and repurpose and redirect resources out of the waste stream and back into the dynamic system.  For more visit: Go Circular, a Newcastle based company.

Face Mask Recycling project diverts ‘waste’ away from landfill
In the face of being told that PPE products could not be recycled, this community driven project in association with Terracycle proved it could be done and done well. Anna Noon reports:

‘This project has successfully diverted approximately 5,000 disposable face masks from entering local landfill at the Awaba Waste Management Facility, where they would have taken 450 years to break down – eventually into microplastics and ultimately ending up polluting local waterways. The masks will be reconstituted into decking boards and outdoor furniture,’ said Anna.

‘There has been very good media coverage with 2 newspaper articles (the Newcastle Herald and Newcastle Weekly), one radio interview (ABC), one community newsletter (Charlestown Courier) and two school newsletters (Warners Bay High School and Speers Point Public School).

The project has been well supported by the community and received no negative commentary online or otherwise – an added plus.’ 

BRAD them, don’t bin them – here’s how
Make-up, toothpaste, coffee pods, highlighters … 
It’s a crying shame that only 4% of the plastic that has ever been made has been recycled? The Banish Recycled and Disposal Program (BRAD) is trying to fix that.  It’s a team effort that we can be a part of. 
Banish will accept a bunch of used items that are hard to recycle elsewhere, and when you post them in, they’ll give you a voucher to spend for your troubles.

Out of it our lives, the landscape, landfill and the oceans.
We need to make a bigger deal about plastic – such a big deal that we get the fossil fuel version out our systems

Continuing with the story from the last issue, we referenced the book: The Plastic Problem: 60 small ways to reduce waste, by Aubre Andrus we get 60 actions to challenge our obsession with this nightmare of the industrial revolution.  The book is written for parents and children, and we started listing some of the actions. This is the final 14 ways … 

Time to get Out and About
Action #47: Don’t litter, and pick up the litter you see #48 Organise a beach clearn-up if you live near the coast or at a park if you live further away  #49 Buy less, or don’t buy anything at all #50 Bring a cool box – pack a zero-waste travel kit consisting of: A refillable drink bottle, Reusable cutlery Fabric napkin or serviette Metal straw if you need one at all Reusable food container, preferably stainless steel Cloth shopping bag – all contained in a calicoe or other maybe hemp fabric bag.  #51 Go plastic-free with your pet’s poo

Now what about at a Party?  …
Action #52: Go glitter-free #53 Go green with your gift wrapping #54 Hang paper or fabric party decorations #55 Give better party bags #56 Forgo the balloons – great alternatives include Bubbles, Cloth flags, Fresh flowers, Paper streamers, Ribbon wands, Coloured string lights, Homemade plant and fruit garlands, Garden spinners or pinwheels #57 Forget about disposable dishes

Now what about around the Community 
Action #58 Speak up at school
#59 Write to your local MP – Member of Parliament
#60 Set an example – this is the most important one of all, since it means that you are doing your best to practice all the principles mentioned above – you / we practice what you / we preach. 

How many R’s
Refuse, Rethink, Reuse, Repair, Reduce, Regenerate, Reintegrate, Redesign, Reconstitute, Recycle

MMM … Issue 30, June 2022