Categories ArchivesCircular Economy

Building a circular economy standard

Featured speaker at SBN / 3R Business Connector event in September. In order to move forward we need to start going around in circles. Such is the thinking behind a circular economy; one that doesn’t follow the linear process of taking resources, making products and then throwing them away, but rather creating a circular process where products are created and then stay in the system to be reused, recycled or repurposed. Nothing is wasted. The venue of our third Sustainable Business Network (SBN) Regional Business Connector event, FG Smiths, is the perfect example of this theory in practice. The building in which the popular eatery is housed was remodelled with circular economy building practices firmly at the forefront of the design. ...

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Increasing the waste levy – cut waste and create jobs standard

Increasing the waste levy will significantly reduce the high volume of waste being sent to landfill and help create jobs. The report “A Wasted Opportunity” released today by the New Zealand Waste Levy Action Group recommends broadening and raising the levy charged on all waste sent to landfill. Currently $10 per tonne, the levy is well below that of other countries charging a similar levy. Adele Rose, 3R Group Chief Executive, believes New Zealand’s low rates of resource recovery and product stewardship have a direct correlation to the levy. “The low value placed on our waste provides little or no incentive for businesses or consumers to change their behaviour and seek out more positive outcomes for their ‘rubbish’. Mrs Rose ...

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Kick starting the Circular Economy standard

This is the third article in a series about councils and the circular economy. In the previous two, I challenged cites (and districts) as to who would be the first to embrace the circular economy and where they could find the funds to do this. Typically, councils in New Zealand only manage around 30% of the waste stream and that tends to be waste produced by householders. The vast majority of waste is produced and managed by the private sector, so it’s tricky for councils to directly influence these waste producers. However, there are still plenty of ways that councils can help to reduce waste within their district and encourage a shift towards a circular economy. This article highlights a ...

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Circular Economy – the time to Act is now! standard

This is my second article of three, focusing on the circular economy in New Zealand. In my last article I challenged cities (and by association districts too) as to who would be the first in New Zealand to fully embrace the circular economy. This article focuses on how they can fund this. Last week, I gave three examples of places that had recently made a significant commitment to jump-start their circular economies. The amounts of money they are committing is huge; in the millions of dollars. Those figures are an indicator of their commitment to this paradigm shift. For most New Zealand cities or districts access to this kind of money is impossible, and that’s where the idea of a local ...

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Circular Economy – which city will be first? standard

If the government was to say that waste was the focus of a new fiscal policy, many would rubbish the comments. But what if looking at waste in a new way could create jobs, reduce our trade deficit, and improve our environment? Well, that’s exactly the point of a circular economy. The term “circular economy” has been around for quite some time now, particular in the waste and resource recovery sectors but for many it’s still a foreign concept. For those unfamiliar with it, the basic principal of a circular economy is that used products and materials can be introduced back into the system to become the resources for new products and services. This improves the way we use our ...

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