A new relationship with our goods and materials would save resources and energy and create local jobs, explains Walter R. Stahel.
The circular economy
As resources dwindle and waste piles up, the ‘take, make and dispose’ linear model of economics is in need of a rethink. In a special issue, Nature examines how governments, industries and designers are looking to close the loop. In a circular economy, waste materials and energy are redefined as inputs by breaking down and repurposing goods or supplying them as services. It is more sustainable; it creates jobs. So, what research is needed?
The country consumes the most resources in the world and produces the most waste — but it also has the most advanced solutions, say John A. Mathews and Hao Tan.
To reduce consumption and waste we must overcome our squeamishness about repurposing pre-owned possessions, says Bruce Hood.
Books and Arts
In linear economics, objects of desire from skyscrapers to paperclips are waste waiting to happen. Now, linearity is reaching the end of the line: designers are looking to the loop and redefining refuse as resource.