Land full: the world will produce 3.4bn tonnes of waste by 2050 © AFP The contents of an average household’s rubbish bin has changed in recent decades: it now contains more Amazon boxes, for example, and more plastics. But the biggest trend in trash is simply that we are producing much, much more of it. At present the world creates 2bn tonnes of solid waste a year: this is expected to rise to 3.4bn tonnes by 2050, according to the World Bank. “The current economy model of take, make and waste is massively extractive,” says Andrew Morlet, chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “We get very little utility and we have seen a massive rise in disposability, which is an easy way to extract value. The waste created is absolutely huge,” he says. A new generation of entrepreneurs is trying to do something radical — eliminate waste altogether. “We have a real problem right now. About 70 per cent of the stuff people throw out ends up in landfill even though it is perfectly usable,” says John Atcheson, chief executive of Stuffstr, a London start-up. His company’s solution is to put a price on used goods. Instead of […]


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