What is a circular economy?
Currently, we take materials and make them into products we eventually throw away as waste. This is a traditional ‘linear’ way of doing things in which we ‘take-make-use-dispose’. Even some waste we put into our yellow recycling bins is part of this model, as not all materials can be recycled continuously into new products.
For example, most plastics can only be recycled two to three times before it cannot be recycled anymore. This means new resources eventually need to be used to make virgin plastics.
Instead, many countries, states and local councils are transitioning to a model that manages the Earth’s resources more efficiently. In a circular economy, waste is designed out of the system, meaning that unnecessary or wasteful items are not produced in the first place.
In a perfect circular economy, the materials we use in products would all be recovered, reprocessed and reused in a continuous loop, rather than becoming waste in landfill.
Although this may sound out of reach in our current throwaway culture – there are things you already do that support a more circular economy.
Examples of a more circular economy
Recycling food scraps and garden waste is a great example of a circular system, as they can be transformed into mulch and compost that can go straight back into soil to nourish new plants and help grow more food. As long as there is no contamination, recycling food scraps and garden materials does not create waste.
Other ways to take part in the circular economy include shopping second hand, giving something you no longer need to a friend who will make use of it or purchasing items made of recycled materials.
Anything that we do to keep products and materials in circulation and avoid waste is helping create a more circular economy.
Circular economy plan for Glen Eira
Supporting our community transition to a circular economy is a key action in Our Climate Emergency Response Strategy 2021–25 | Dhumbal Wurrungi-biik parbin-ata
So, we are developing a circular economy plan for Glen Eira.
Upcoming community consultation
Soon, we’ll want to hear from you on how we can support our community transition to a circular economy. We’ll let you know when and how to get involved.
If you’d like to receive updates in your inbox about current engagement activities, subscribe to our Community Engagement E-Newsletter.
In the meantime, we’ve gathered some helpful resources about the circular economy if you’re interested in learning more about what it means and what is being planned across the state.