Conscious consumers are championing the resale of goods to reduce waste and extend the active life of garments and other products, and innovators in the retail sector are responding. The transient ownership of goods is an emerging trend that has been on the radar of Flux Trends since 2012. “The growth of sustainable consumption seems to be reaching its tipping point and accelerating as more people understand the environmental impact of waste and strive to support the circular economy,” says founder Dion Chang. “For the fashion industry, 2020 is going to be like a cleaver, dividing it into before and after. Some environmentally conscious consumers who feel concerned about so much waste and throw-away culture are now looking for an alternative to the traditional fashion retailers. The drive to lengthen the lifespan of a garment, in turn, has accelerated slow fashion, the circular economy, and sustainability,” adds Chang.
Wastefront AS, an Oslo based waste tire recycling company, has chosen Port of Sunderland for the construction of its first plant. On completion in 2022, it is said to be the greenest waste tire recycling plant in the UK. Alternative fuel or rubber –
The plant will convert locally-sourced tires waste into useful commodities, including liquid hydrocarbons and carbon black. These ‘new’ raw materials can be reutilized in processes such as alternative fuel or ground rubber manufacturing. The construction of the plant is expected to generate around 100 jobs in the region and, once fully up and running in the second half of 2022, the plant will employ up to 30 people full time. Wastefront recently received funding from the Norwegian state-owned company and national development bank, Innovation Norway and it is supported by a government agency, The Research Council of Norway (Skattefunn). The company aims to raise investment from the UK, the Nordic countries, and International investors in Q1 2021, in order to facilitate the construction of the plant.
From takeout food to online shopping, more people are leveraging the safety and convenience of ordering online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As unprecedented as this moment in time is, consumers’ shifting purchasing habits have a silver lining—people are paying more attention to the sustainability of product packaging. While the pandemic has compounded an environmental crisis, consumers are paying attention to issues of sustainability in a different way and prioritizing the need for greater packaging sustainability. As we navigate this “new normal,” our awareness of just how much we are consuming has sharpened our focus on the need to advance toward a circular economy for a more sustainable world.
A circular economy is an economic system that focuses on eliminating waste and the unnecessary use of resources. What that means to businesses, industries and individuals can vary, leading many to ask, “Which practice supports a circular economy?” Using resources efficiently is the practice that is central to how the circular economy is implemented. In other words, the goal of a circular economy is to use as few resources as possible by keeping materials in circulation and getting the greatest value from them. That may mean different things to different companies based on your industry, what services or products you offer, and your sustainability goals. After all, there are many ways to incorporate circular economy concepts, from salvaging used parts for production to incorporating circular economy practices into your waste management plan.
Last year, an Impossible Whopper — next year, reusable packaging? Burger King has been leading the charge on food service sustainability and is now taking a step into the circular economy. The fast food chain announced earlier this month that it will begin offering reusable packaging, starting next year. A trial will begin at select restaurants in New York, Portland and Tokyo for sandwiches and drinks. Making this move possible is Burger King’s partnership with TerraCycle’s Loop initiative, which facilitates corporate transitions to reusable packaging. The trial is part of Burger King’s goal to source all packaging from renewable, recyclable or certified sources by 2025. And this step forward couldn’t have come at a better time, as many restaurants have resorted to single-use options during the coronavirus pandemic.