Did you know, in Johannesburg a person produces an average of 5kg of waste daily? According to the United Nation’s projections for the period between 2015 and 2030, Johannesburg’s population will grow from 9.3-million to 11.5-million, leading to a significant increase in the amount of waste generated and the resulting pressure on landfills.
Today’s linear ‘take, make and dispose’ economic model has led to a culture of excessive consumption, resulting in items being disposed of before their lifespan has ended. At the 2015 Johannesburg Waste Summit it was estimated that landfills in Johannesburg have only seven years of capacity left. Currently, 90% of waste collected ends up in landfills. Implementation of a circular economy is a solution to this problem; it not only encourages the recycling of materials but also promotes resource conservation and sustainable waste management practices.
The circular economy encourages consumers to see waste as an opportunity to create something new, instead of throwing items away that end up in landfills. By closing the loop we can cultivate healthier, more sustainable cities where waste is not only effectively managed but also repurposed.
To take the first steps towards closing the loop at home, here are a few tips:
- Choose products that are returnable, reusable or refillable.
- Turn food scraps and yard waste into compost. Many types of food scraps, along with leaves and garden trimmings, can be combined in your compost bin.
- Buy items made of recycled content, and use and reuse them as much as you can. For instance, use both sides of every page of a notebook before using a new notebook.
Source: Rethink Recycling