In the third installment of our Step Up to Net Zero series of blogs, our Net Zero coordinator, Frances Nicoll, delves into the world of the circular economy and why it’s important to adopt circular practices.
“A circular economy is part of the solution to our global climate emergency – one in which products, services and systems are designed to maximise their value and minimise waste.”
Our linear model of production, consumption and waste is failing us. In this model little value or thought is given to the end of life of a product or material. One example of this is the mass production of single use plastic that we have experienced over the last few decades. As of 2015 only 9% of all plastic we had produced was recycled, and of that 9% only 10% was recycled more than once. In the current climate this is being challenged and is changing. That is why you will see an increased in required recycled content in products.
This single use plastic example shows how unsustainable linear economic models are. The Earth is unable to keep up with the demands we place on it. We require our planet to provide us with all the raw materials and resources we need – then expect it to absorb it all again from the waste we produce.
“Four-fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint come from products and materials. The production, consumption and waste of these products and materials are heating the earth at an alarming rate.”
Instead of sourcing virgin raw materials, producing products and then disposing of them in landfill, which is just a straight line from beginning to end, we need to switch to a circular model. Working according to this model we consider the impact of a product from beginning to end, intentionally manufacturing products in such a way that their valuable resources can be extracted (at the end of life) to make new ones. This is also known as a closed loop system.
Did you know that unwanted electrical equipment is the UK’s fastest-growing type of waste?
Here at Healing for the Heart we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Many electrical items can be repaired or recycled, saving natural resources and the environment. If not recycled, electrical equipment will often end up in landfill where hazardous substances can leak out and cause soil and water contamination, which can harm wildlife and human health.
Reusing and recycling our electricals will avoid releasing hazardous elements into the environment and reduce the consumption of precious metals and raw materials. Where refurbishment is not possible, valuable materials can still be recovered through the recycling process. To this end we have partnered with local businesses to pass on our electricals for reuse or recycling. We have also added a battery recycling collection point to our office.
Since the founding of Healing for the Heart we have worked with embedded circular practices such as sourcing our furniture and electricals from refurbished or pre-used sources. Going forward we are adding to our existing circular practices by sourcing all white goods from pre-used sources. We will also ensure that all our equipment, electricals, or furniture, will be recycled or reused at the end of its use.