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Did you know that we have consumed more resources in the last 50 years than in all of history? Let that sink in for a bit. More than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the industrial production began in the 1950’s. Only 9% has been recycled, the rest sit in landfills, pollute our oceans or have been burned. It’s not only a disaster for the environment, but an awful waste of Earth’s limited resources. Let's make waste our seventh resource.
A rapidly growing world population puts enormous pressure on our natural resources. Our old ways to produce, consume, use and throw things away just do not work anymore. You have probably heard a lot of talk about a circular economy lately. The transition to a circular economy is crucial in order to save the climate and reduce overuse of the Earth’s resources.
How does it affect me, you may wonder? It’s really quite simple.
We have to:
• reduce consumption of new products
• reuse more
• design products and packaging in a smarter way
• recycle more material
• utilize the energy in waste that cannot be recycled and therefore is incinerated
Every year we consume billions of tons of natural resources and sooner or later they simply run out. That time is fast approaching. Water, air, oil, natural gas, coal and minerals are considered the six most important resources that humanity currently can not survive without. And when they are gone, they are gone forever.
Our seventh resource is recycling. By recycling, we can protect our important natural resources. Reuse and recycling reduces the impact on the environment and climate while improving people’s living conditions and providing new livelihoods. Already today, we save over 770 million tons of CO2 emissions every year by recycling, and it is constantly increasing.
To be successful, we need to re-evaluate our view of waste. Many organizations and individuals show the way through creativity and innovation. Let us take care of our waste and consider it an important resource in a circular system. Think again about what you throw away. Think resource, not waste.