The volumes of waste per person have increased as the levels of consumerism and disposal habits associated with the development of a single use (throw away) goods and society have become prevalent, especially in developed nations. This increase of waste per person has been compounded into a global problem by population increases and the rapid onset of significant development within previously less developed countries such as China and India.
Without adopting the circular economy, applying the principles of sustainability and fully considering the complete lifecycle of a product, the issue and volumes of waste will continue to rise exponentially until resources to make items become scarce or, as is the case with recycling and China, the options to dispose of waste are restricted.
Taking the current situation to the extreme and without any intervention, humans will inevitably turn all the resources into a product and then dispose of them as waste. With the current trend in societies being a ‘produce and dispose’ habit, it is just a question of when we break the habit. Now or if not now, when?
By Darren North