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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Robert Crocker

In the face of increasing resource insecurity, environmental degradation and climate change, more governments and businesses are now embracing the concept of the circular…

Abstract

In the face of increasing resource insecurity, environmental degradation and climate change, more governments and businesses are now embracing the concept of the circular economy. This chapter presents some historical background to the concept, with particular attention paid to its assumed opposite, the ‘linear’ or growth economy. While the origins of the circular economy concept are to be found in 1960s environmentalism, the chapter draws attention to the influence of the then ‘new’ sciences of ecology and ‘cybernetics’ in shaping the public environmental discourse of the period. It also draws attention to the background of the present linear economy in postwar policies that encouraged reconstruction and a social and economic democratisation across the West, including an expansion of mass-consumption. It emphasises the role of the 1960s counterculture in generating a popular reaction against this expansionary growth-based agenda, and its influence in shaping subsequent environmentalism, including the ‘metabolic’ and ecological economic understanding of the environmental crisis that informs the concept of the circular economy. Reflecting upon this historical preamble, the chapter concludes that more attention should be paid to the economic, cultural and social contexts of consumption, now more clearly the main driver of our global environmental crisis. Without now engaging more directly with the ‘consumption problem’, the chapter argues, it seems unlikely that the goals of the circular economy can be met.

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Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Robert Crocker, Christopher P. Saint, Guanyi Chen and Yindong Tong

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Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Abstract

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Vaughan Levitzke

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Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Kirsty Máté

Conventional shopping-scapes are designed to promote a linear form of consumption. Products are moved from production systems through consumer distribution nodal points…

Abstract

Conventional shopping-scapes are designed to promote a linear form of consumption. Products are moved from production systems through consumer distribution nodal points. The consumption of commodities through these points is promoted as the main, if not only, legitimate activity of shopping centres. A circular economic (CE) paradigm offers an alternative to the current model of linear consumption so that there are restorative processes to ensure products, components and materials are valued at all stages of product life (Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2013). However, this model, like its contemporary linear model, overlooks the opportunities for more socially rewarding consumption that could particularly be addressed through the shopping scape. The ByeBuy! Shop was conceived to test ideas on an alternative shopping scape to increase social engagement and reduced consumption without the use of money for exchange. Accordingly, it is used here to exemplify a CE paradigm.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Abbas Elmualim, Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Raufdeen Rameezdeen

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the environment. It argues that by adopting smart and industrialised prefabrication (SAIP), the Australian construction industry, and the construction industry globally, is well positioned to leverage the circular economy to advance future industries with less impact on our natural environment. It discusses aspects of the application of digital technologies, specifically building information modelling, virtualisation, augmented and virtual reality and 3D printing, coupled with reverse logistics as a proponent for advancing the circular economy through smart, digitally enabled, industrialised prefabrication. It further postulates a framework for SAIP for the circular economy.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Sen Peng, Huiping Cui and Min Ji

The new campus of Tianjin University was designed, built and now operates following a green and sustainable concept. The campus’ eco-friendly water environment was formed…

Abstract

The new campus of Tianjin University was designed, built and now operates following a green and sustainable concept. The campus’ eco-friendly water environment was formed by establishing a water recycling system. The campus is divided into three drainage sections based on the masterplan. Each drainage section adopts different methods of collecting, utilizing and discharging water according to specific conditions, aimed at achieving both high drainage capability and the efficient utilisation of rainwater. The campus was designed so runoff pollution is reduced through the utilisation of low-impact development methods, ensuring the quality of the recharge water. Through studying the fundamentals of treatment measures and models for simulating water quality, water circulation, constructed wetlands and pollution control of rain runoff, parameters for efficient water recycling could be mathematically forecast, ensuring that stakeholders can be continuously engaged in improving and preserving the water quality of landscaped water on campus. The overall system integrates a variety of measures being implemented into one cohesive entity, which contributes to establishing the sustainable and healthy water cycling system of the green campus.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Rita Yi Man Li, Li Meng, Tat Ho Leung, Jian Zuo, Beiqi Tang and Yuan Wang

The circular economy (CE) proposes that all materials flow in a close-looped system. Waste generated by one production stage may be useful in another. Thus, the idea of a…

Abstract

The circular economy (CE) proposes that all materials flow in a close-looped system. Waste generated by one production stage may be useful in another. Thus, the idea of a CE is linked to the goal of zero waste (ZW) and promotes a range of sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits in each sector. When we apply this to construction waste management, waste can be managed through reducing, recycling, upcycling and reusing. However, there is an inevitable cost implication associated with this process due to the additional requirement of inventory and waste processing, and this becomes a disincentive to implementing the CE. Formal institutions, referring here to legal rules and regulations, play a critical role in motivating firms and individuals towards a CE. As different countries have different government rules and regulations, and there is limited research on their differences, we review Asia’s and Europe’s legal rules and regulations relevant to the goal of ZW and CE in the construction sector.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Martin Shanahan

This chapter focusses on the links between economic ideas, sustainability and the circular economy. Economics begins with the view that all resources are scarce and…

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This chapter focusses on the links between economic ideas, sustainability and the circular economy. Economics begins with the view that all resources are scarce and careful and informed choices must be made to ensure resources are used efficiently and not wasted. Given the fundamental importance of markets to human resource allocation decisions, unless economic concepts, especially markets and prices, are used to help transition towards the circular economy, a sustainable economic growth process is unlikely to be achieved. Economists have long grappled with the problems of resource depletion, unsustainable growth and intergenerational equity. Their ideas and views about the interconnection between markets, the environment and resource use have been in existence for several centuries. While frequently overlooked, some of these ideas have important insights for sustainable development and the implementation of a circular economy. The chapter will consider how economic concepts could be used to help society transition to a circular economy. It will also argue that difficulties with the implementation of a circular economy lie less with the application of economic instruments, and more with the political and institutional constraints that reduce our ability to think creatively and innovatively about ‘cradle-to-cradle’ processes.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Chin How (Norman) Goh, Michael D. Short, Nanthi S. Bolan and Christopher P. Saint

Biosolids, the residual solids from wastewater treatment operations and once considered a waste product by the industry, are now becoming increasingly recognised as a…

Abstract

Biosolids, the residual solids from wastewater treatment operations and once considered a waste product by the industry, are now becoming increasingly recognised as a multifunctional resource with growing opportunities for marketable use. This shift in attitude towards biosolids management is spurred on by increasing volatility in energy, fertilizer and commodity markets as well as moves by the global community towards mitigating global warming and the effects of climate change. This chapter will provide an overview of current global biosolids practices (paired with a number of Australian examples) as well as discuss potential future uses of biosolids. Additionally, present and future risks and opportunities of biosolids use are highlighted, including potential policy implications.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

Keywords

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