The NSW Government is adopting fresh ways to think about resource management which will create economic value and preserve valuable resources by using them again and again (circulating them) in the economy and minimising the generation of waste.
The circular economy approach involves a transition away from the traditional linear ‘take, make and dispose’ model. It aims to keep resources circulating in our economy to maximise value, generate local jobs and minimise waste. It can open up new markets and business models and lead to innovative resource and waste management solutions.
Circular economy approaches have been adopted by cities, states and nations across the world, particularly in Europe, Asia and North America. Most Australian State and Territory Governments, and the Commonwealth Government, are developing circular economy policies and approaches, uniquely matched to their circumstances.
The Discussion Paper and Draft Policy are not limited to specific resources or materials, although recyclable plastic, paper and cardboard, glass and metals are given particular attention. In the wake of China’s National Sword restrictions, and the resulting impact to recyclable commodity markets across the world, a circular economy can lead to a more resilient local economy and protect NSW’s strong recycling history.
The principles presented in this Discussion Paper cover all aspects of a product or service life cycle and show how the circular economy provides benefits to our society, our economy and the environment. By incorporating circular economy principles into our decisions and behaviour and encouraging consideration of the true value of our resources, we can develop a new, restorative model that builds economic, social and natural capital.