Circular economy the key to tackling resource depletion and pollution

A pile of plastic cups in landfill

It’s a well-known fact that the rise in consumerism and disposable products is choking and exhausting our planet. Before we reach the day where there is more plastic in the sea than fish, something has to be done to ebb the flow.

According to the World Economic Forum, moving towards a circular economy is the key, and a ‘trillion-dollar opportunity, with huge potential for innovation, job creation and economic growth’. Read more here.  

The last 150 years of industrial evolution have been dominated by a one-way or linear model of production and consumption in which goods are manufactured from raw materials, sold, used and then discarded or incinerated as waste.

In the face of sharp volatility increases across the global economy and proliferating signs of resource depletion, the call for a new economic model is getting louder.

A new International Organisation for Standardization committee for the circular economy has been formed (ISO TC 323). The committee’s work will contribute directly to many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth,  SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production, and SDG 13 Climate action and SDG 15 Life on land. 

Consumers Federation of Australia has appointed a representative to the Standards Australia Technical sub committee EV-021-02 who will be an observing member of the ISO committee. 

Minimising plastic pollution

CSIRO is taking on the world’s largest plastic pollution survey. The’re working with countries across the globe to apply science to reduce the amount of litter entering our oceans.

To date, the best estimates say there are around 6-12 million metric tonnes of plastic going into the oceans each year. That works out to be around 15 shopping bags of plastic for each metre of global coastline (excluding Antarctica).

Plastic Free July  is a global movement that encourages people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

Read more about CSIRO’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution here.

Find out more about the CFA Standards Project and how you can get involved as a consumer representative on a  standards committee here.