Robot Wars and the circular economy uprising
Life's too short for our mobile phones. Broken, out of fashion, replaced by a shinier version - electronics are being used for a decreasing amount of time before being disposed of, according to a new report released this week.
Let's not kid ourselves: the e-waste challenge - the global resource management challenge, in fact - is rapidly escalating into one of the biggest environmental crises of our time, and it is clearly not being addressed on the scale that is required. As WRAP's outgoing chief executive Liz Goodwin puts it, "the progress we are making on the circular economy is frustratingly slow".
But, as Goodwin's charity embarks on the second phase of its recycling strategy in England, there are signs that the transition to a global circular economy is shifting into second gear.
The past few days has seen a much-needed influx of circular economy pledges, value chain collaborations and behaviour change schemes from across the public and private sectors – all of which could have a significant impact on the re-engineering of material flows and psychological consumer impulses.
Jaguar Land Rover has taken an innovate approach to closed-loop manufacturing processes, retailers have ramped up efforts to tackle food waste, and local councils have launched a series of ambitious new initiatives - including the hosting of an e-waste-themed 'Robot Wars Live' event - to drive behaviour change.
It's been a long time coming, but perhaps the circular economy is finally coming round again.Luke Nicholls