Closing the Loop (Full Film) – English with Multi-Language Subtitles

Closing the Loop (Full Film) – English with Multi-Language Subtitles


(dramatic music) – Unless we go to Circular
it’s game over for the planet. It’s game over for society. – We don’t have a choice but to do this. This is imperative for our survival. – So if we really don’t
change our mindset, I think it will be the end of the world. – We’re moving from a world
of seven billion people on the planet to nine billion. – The way we’re existing
right now on planet Earth, this biosphere is really being driven by humans who are parasites. – If you look at how much
plastic pollution is accumulating in the ocean, that plastic is starting to accumulate in the fish that people eat. – There’s not a lot of stuff left and the stuff that we’ve got, we’ve got to protect,
and we’ve got to care for and we’ve got to use efficiently. It’s not utopia, it’s necessity. – I am frightened that my
generation will be the first generation in the world
which will leave my children and grandchildren an Earth which they might never be able to fix. (dramatic music) – Whether it takes 20 years
or 50 years or 100 years it is inevitable that we
will hit those limits. We’ll run out of resources or
the pollution will become so bad that it affects our
human health and we start to feel the impact as human beings. – I think if we continue
with the linear economy, we’re, to use a technical
term, totally screwed. – Is it too late? This is one I get asked
often when I lecture at Cambridge University and other places. And sometimes I have to answer this way, if I look at the science
and if I look at the trends and the facts, it’s very
hard not to be pessimistic. It’s very hard not to say
that we’re heading off the cliff at a hundred miles an hour. But if I look at the speed
and the scale of the changes that are happening and I
look at the people working on these problems and I
look at the breakthroughs in technology that we’re seeing right now, it’s very hard not to be optimistic. (bells ringing) I began this journey of
looking at the circular economy through my work in sustainability, but really through my
realization after many years consulting to multinationals and businesses around the
world on sustainability, that if we don’t solve this one problem, everything else we do, no matter
how well-intentioned it is, will be like shifting deck
chairs on the Titanic. Nobody’s going to stop growing, nobody’s going to stop
striving for growth, whether it’s a country or
a business or a consumer. And so the only way we fix that problem is to make it circular. And so I started to think, you know, I’m working in sustainability, I’m lecturing, I’m consulting,
but it’s just not enough. The only thing that’s enough is redesigning the industrial system, literally a new Industrial
Revolution, closing the loop. This is no longer a dream,
this is no longer a fantasy. We’re not talking about a
utopia, we’re talking about something that is absolutely
happening right now and that if others could
follow the example of those, we would change the world forever. That’s why I’m so excited to
go and visit these companies that are pioneering in this space, because they’re showing that
not only is it possible, but that they’re doing it already. We don’t need new technologies,
they’re already there. What we need is new thinking
and these companies demonstrate that we can bring that new paradigm, that shift to actually
change the world, today. (uplifting orchestral music) – I think it’s a most exciting time. You’ve got experiments
happening around the world in the sort of social
entrepreneurship space, in the clean technology space, in the integrated reporting space, in the circular economy,
it goes on and on. And it’s in that sort of
almost historical U-bend that you would expect the
maximum confusion, uncertainty, anger, sense of loss,
existential challenge. And I think that’s exactly what
we’re seeing at the moment. So the question for the
sustainability industry in a way is can we project
the sort of vision of a future that people would really aspire
to and want to be part of? I think we can, but we’ve got to come together in a very different way. – That’s a great challenge,
that’s a really great challenge. But I think this is a great
time to do it, we have a great opportunity to go ahead and
make the local government, make the city, the municipality, as the main actor in this process. – You know I think one of
the things that allows me to be positive is I was
fortunate to live through the transition in South
Africa to democracy. And what I saw was we had a
system where people resist change for decades, 40 years
apartheid was in place. But when the change
really started to happen, there was that tipping point and it happened incredibly fast. So you know I really
believe that change can happen positively very quickly. (upbeat music) What is circular thinking? It’s the change in perspective,
the shift in consciousness, from linear thinking, take, make, waste, to circular thinking how waste, instead of being disposed
of or becoming pollution, rather becomes another product, becomes an input back into the process. – Circular economy is an economic system that is regenerative by design. Essentially what we aim to do
is to encourage our partners to move away from a linear
economy where we take, make, dispose or waste, to a take
make, take-make, take-make. So it’s more optimization of
resources that are already in the system to reduce
the need for extraction of more resources from a
finite source essentially. Yes recycling is a big part
of it but so is refurbishing, reuse, sharing, zero waste essentially, just closing the loop on the resources that are already in the system. – I think the circular economy
basically sexes up waste, you know, it makes it quite funky. Suddenly if you can buy a
swimming costume that’s made out of discarded fishing nets, what a great story, you know, because basically you’re
helping to clean up the ocean I guess by maybe swimming
in it at the same time. I tend to think that the
circular economy represents our best chance of being
able to consume comfortably and maintain our current lifestyles. The alternative would be
to go back to the dark ages and no one wants to do that. – I think that circular economy
is all about co-creation, working together, bringing all
the innovations and knowledge together in one chain
and being responsible for what you are doing and making. – Close the loop, so basically
a perfect circular economy is where you have zero
diversion to landfill, that everything that you
produce is recycled and brought back into economic activity,
that we get to a point where, whenever an engineer or designer designs a product that it will
be compulsory for them to also put forward a recycling plan. – I think a lot of what
people call circular today is just generally
improved waste management. It’s not fundamentally thinking about produce something
from the very beginning that can be circular, ensure that the customer can
see real benefit from using it and real benefit in terms of reusing it and returning it to us. So I think there’s a challenge of genuinely satisfying customer need. We cannot be satisfied until
10s of thousands of companies, hundreds of thousands of
companies, servicing hundreds of millions of customers
are really doing circular. And as long as it remains in the lab and exploration, we’re struggling. And the world around us is
moving so fast in terms of the climate crisis, the resource
crisis, it is not enough to stay tinkering for next 10 years. We need deliver scale, quickly. (classical music) – Would you say that
what you’re doing here is in some way revolutionary? – I would certainly say that
it’s revolutionary because we really changed the whole model
of the way we do business. We’re moving from a take-make-waste model to a fully circular model. – Aiming for zero impact, Mission Zero by 2020,
that’s pretty ambitious – That is pretty ambitious and
with the present capabilities and the present technology you cannot even imagine that you can achieve it. So this really ambitious
mission that Ray gave us really force us to new avenues
and that is very exciting. – In Europe we are now
you know 98% reduction of carbon with 95% renewable energy. We have little use of
water in our processes. We have no waste going to landfill. And we have more than
50% of our raw materials already recycled or bio-based. Now, our challenge is how to upscale that to close to 100% in 2020. Innovation and sustainability are very interlinked in our company. Actually the person in charge
globally of sustainability is the same person in
charge of innovation. So the idea is that any
innovation that we put on the business should
go for sustainability. – Our R&D people developed a
way to produce a carpet tile with about half of the yarn that we use in a normal carpet tile. And half the material use is a lot less environmental footprint,
but in the meantime they created a completely new look, because there’s almost
no yarn in the tile, it’s a very flat minimalistic look and it opened up a
complete new market for us, especially in Scandinavia
and southern Europe where they like light, hard flooring. – There are many opportunities in the waste from other industries. If other industries are not
clever enough to recycle their own waste, we will look at what is the potential waste
which is interesting for us. So for example we’ve looked
at, you know, fishing nets, gathering fishing nets to make nylon. We look at the laminated
glass and extracting PVB from that laminated glass and using
as a substitute for latex. We’re looking at various
ideas for our backing. And the idea is that your
processes are flexible enough so that it can take
different waste streams. And I think normally in the
old industry model was about just, you know, making machines efficient for only one raw material. In the new model it’s
about making machines that, maybe they’re a little bit less efficient but they can handle more raw material. – [Wayne ] So here we’re
at the cutting process, tell me what’s happening here. – Here we have an ultrasonic
technology cutting, which is unique in the industry. And the beauty of it is that
it cuts 24 times at one stroke. So therefore there is no waste in between, it’s ultrasonic so it’s very accurate and it leaves little waste on the side. – Okay, so getting you closer
to that goal of zero waste. – Getting there. – Let’s go and have a
look at those trimmings. – The only thing you have is these sides, these trimmings of each side. – Okay, it’s very impressive, very thin, very few resources being used and wasted. So what’s the end of the process now? – The next process is then when the tiles are packaged in boxes. – Okay let’s have a look. So it looks like this is
the end of the process. – That’s the final stage, this is the packaging of the carpet tiles. – Okay and this goes
out to happy customers in Europe from here? – Middle East and Africa. This is the manufacturing site
that serves all that region. – And how many carpets or what volume are you turning out here? – Around 14 million
square meters per year, which is around 60,000,
square meters every day. – So that’s a lot of
carpet and what we hope with the Mission Zero is
the more carpet you’re selling the more sustainable
the world is getting. – We hope to get there as well. – Alright, well thank you so much for taking us around today. – Thank you. – And we really hope that you have all your success with Mission Zero. We’re watching your progress
and cheering you along the way. – Brilliant, thank you.
– Alright. (upbeat music) What would you say to other
companies that want to follow this revolutionary path,
that want to be part of what is effectively the
next Industrial Revolution? What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned that you could pass on? – For companies to proceed
on this revolutionary path I would say it starts with your
own people within a company. If you turn your own
people into believers, if they get that something has to change, then they become ambassadors
that work with your customers and that work with your supply chain. It starts with leadership
and the top management having that vision and supporting
that implementation. – Well I wish you the best of luck, thank you for your leadership and I really hope that we see this new industrial model come fully into being. – To play a role in a revolution
like this is very exciting and very stimulating and it
really adds something to working at Interface that’s true for me and that’s true for all our employees. – Wonderful, thank you. – Thank you very much. (upbeat rock music) – A facility like this, you
take a long-term view on it when you invest in something like this you think beyond today,
you think the next 20, 30, 40 up to maybe a hundred years. Even though we may have
invested a significant amount of money, the returns
not only to Barloworld, but to the country, to the world at large, is, you can’t quantify that. – Give us an idea of what we have here and the scale of the operation. – [Dawid] This is a 30,000
square meter facility, 20,000 of that is for the rebuilding of components and the remainder, 10,000, is for warehousing purposes. – Okay and walk me through the
process, what are the steps when components arrive here, what happens? – Once the component
arrives here, we disassemble the component completely, we do an inspection on the component. We determine what parts
need to be replaced with new and which part can be
refurbished and reused again. Parts will then go through
a process of cleaning, refurbishment, and then reassembly. After reassembly the component
will be tested, painted, and then it’s good to go
back to the machine like new. – Through remanufacturing
we are able to reduce the cost of doing business,
because we are able to give the customers components
at a fraction of what it would cost to get a new one. When we remanufacture
it also reduces the load on raw materials, such
as iron ore and steel, and what we can’t reuse, we
send through for recycling. – So this is obviously a
process that replaces having to get new equipment every
time something breaks, that’s the essence of remanufacturing, I presume there must be
some real benefits to that. – Absolutely, yes, benefits
could be, depending on the component group, between 20% for a specific component after failure up to as much as 60%
saving on the price of new. So the benefit is quite big. – Is there a role for government to play in supporting these kinds of initiatives? – In a big way, government as a regulator, you know, they have a role to play. One of the ways in which they
could do is to provide tax incentives for facilities such as this. But also to make sure that
there is adequate supply of skills, so that we
can continue to bring people here and train them. – Okay so you’ve got definite
economic benefits by what we call remanufacturing
here, but there are clear environmental benefits as well. – Iron is reused, I mean
there’s an iron shortage or steel shortage worldwide. So we reuse steel. And we also clean some of the
runoff water on the cleaning plant and reuse some of that
water for the cleaning process. – What are some of the things
you think that Barloworld has overcome that are lessons
that other industries could learn from, if
you were to advise them to go down the circular economy route? – I think it will probably be to say let’s think beyond profits, because if we don’t take
care of the environment none of us would be in existence. If we don’t take care of the environment, none of us will be
around in years to come. And the generations to come
will blame us and therefore it’s a responsibility that
each one of us has to make sure that we do our best to minimize the impact of our economic activities
on the environment. So let’s think bigger and also
when we become sustainable, we take the costs out of doing business. Those increased profits, we
should be reinvesting them to make sure that we become sustainable over many years to come. I am hoping that my children
and their grandchildren, when I’m no more around,
they would say you know, we had a group of people
who had the foresight to ensure that the economic
activities of their companies reduced the impact, the negative
impact, on the environment. (gentle music) – I was a designer and on
a certain moment I went to Ethiopia and we saw the land and it was all land filled with clothing. And on that moment I said
okay, I have to take my responsibility and I have
to do it on another way. The Industrial Revolution was
started with the textiles, so and we are stating,
okay we are from textiles, let’s start up a new
revolution with textiles. So we had to show that
it’s possible to make a raw material that’s
recyclable eight times. We have to show that we
can put it into the market. We had to show that we
can track and trace it, make an LCA, a lifecycle analysis. We had to show that there
are business opportunities and new business models,
that’s what we’re showing with performance-based contracting. And that’s something amazing
what’s happening over here. You will see all the
innovations, you will see all the clothing and the
partnerships and the love I hope. One of our innovations of the suits we made together a new brand, WearEver. We made the suits for them and
the fabrics and they are very young and they are going with
the motion into the market, making it very sexy to
have a circular product. It’s amazing. (upbeat music) – Yeah and I mean it feels
great, it looks great. Isn’t this one of the
concerns that if you go for a suit that is somehow sustainable or circular that you sacrifice quality? – It is polyester. However if you look at
polyesters which we can make, it’s not what it used to be. Look at when you go sporting for example. If you wear a sports
trousers, sports shirt, it’s 100% polyester. If you look at the durability, this material is way stronger
and therefore will last way longer than for example a woolen suit. So the technical life span of the product is quality-wise better. – And that’s quite different from what we sometimes call fast fashion right. – It’s the opposite I would say, it’s definitely the opposite. Because if you look at fast
fashion there are three pillars. It needs to be cheap, super
affordable so people can buy large quantities, it has a
short technical lifespan, so people will throw it away quickly and also buy new clothing quickly, and it has a short stylish lifespan. All these factors result in
huge quantities of resources needed, fossil fuels
needed, to uphold the system and yeah, this is the opposite. – I mean how many times
could this suit be recycled, turned back into fibers
and back into a suit? – Eight times. The quality we demand
from this fabric we can bring the fiber back to the quality, our acceptable standard, for eight times. – Amazing so I mean if this
suit lasts me five years that’s eight times five
that’s 40 years effectively. – We’re entering resources
once and creating no debris at the other end for 40 years. (upbeat music) – So, here we are at the
heart of your process and tell me what’s going on here? – Well at the moment we are
at the melt-spin process, that’s what you can see over here. Polymer pellets are loaded in this machine and it will convert the
pellets to PET yarn. – So you keep this running and
running and the pellets are melted, it comes out as
what you call filaments. So what is a filament, how
big is it, how do you use it? – Yarn consists of a hundred
or hundreds of filaments. One filament has a diameter of about a five to 29 micrometer. A human hair has
approximately 80 micrometer, so this is in fact much
smaller than a human hair. – Okay so anything from a quarter to even a tenth of a human hair. Now what is it that makes something more or less recyclable when we’re talking about these kinds of yarns? – Well essential for the
process is a clean waste stream. If you have a lot of contaminations
in your waste stream, you’re not able to process
it into a filament or a yarn. – So even dyes, if we’re
not thinking through the whole process, it could be
that the coloring that we add to the yarn is making it less recyclable? – Yeah that’s right, yeah. – Alright and I suppose this
is why it’s so important to have the life cycle thinking. It makes it easier once you get to the end if you’ve thought about the beginning. – Yeah if you really think
of how to handle in the start of the process then it will help you in the end of the process. Then of course you have
to test the mechanical properties of the material. Of course you want to meet the same requirements as virgin material. So for example what we do is
test the tenacity of the yarns. – Okay and this is quite
important because you’re suggesting that just because
it happens to be recycled doesn’t mean that it’s
got a lower performance. It goes through the same tests for performance as any other yarns. – Exactly, I mean that’s the big challenge of using recycled material. The challenge is to meet
the same requirements, specifications as a virgin material. – But you’re finding
that’s possible to do. – Yes I’m sure of that. (gentle music) – We are standing in front
of the weaving department. We can produce here in a year about five or six million running meters. And one loom is producing
about 100 to 150 meters, it depends to the style and fabric, a day. – The equipment we see behind
us, do you need different kinds of equipment if you’re doing circular threads and clothing? – No, the machinery is always
the same, we use the same machinery but they have
to use the right material. (gentle music) So here are we coming to the final result after eight weeks production, we see the ready finished Infinity fabric. – Okay, what, this is no ordinary fabric, what is Infinity fabric? – Infinity fabric is 100% polyester. It’s recyclable and it has
motion control function. So really a high quality,
brand-new fabric, brand new developed.
– Okay. And this is what you
developed in collaboration with Dutch Awearness and it’s
for their suits especially. How long did that collaboration take? – We worked more than 18 months at this. – Wow. Through this fabric you become
part of the sustainability, circular economy revolution. How does that make you
feel, this is your company? – Yeah, it makes us proud,
it makes us really proud because it was a lot of
work and all my people worked hours and hours at this quality. And now we are happy to have
the final product in our hands. (gentle music) – Well I think it’s a big
step because we are used to thinking linear produce,
sell, wear, stop, throw it away. And now we have to go take it back to our production countries. So that’s another way of
thinking, not only for work wear, but I think for all kinds of industry. It has to be as well supply and demand. We need clients who
say we want to buy this and we are not afraid to
pay maybe a little bit more for the same quality,
that is what we need. (gentle music) – [Wayne] How did you come
to choose the circular option for the outfits that you workers wear? – We really find a
supplier that had a vision and that was in this market. Together with our
supplier Dutch Awearness, we could use clothing waste material in construction materials. We are piloting a new
material, the name is Cliff, and we can use that instead of this wood. A problem with a lot of waste, clothing waste, cotton waste in our cities, and if we harvest that waste and make it
into construction material, that’s the second problem that you are solving with this material. – [Wayne] This is the idea
of urban mining right? – This is the idea of urban mining, use what the waste that you have, reuse it and we also think reuse it really nearby where you are mining it. (gentle music) – We are all in a rat race of consuming, producing, and not thinking, grabbing, eating, drinking, spoiling. Of course we still have
to eat and we must drink, but we have to do it with more awareness. And I’m a proud father of a daughter and I want for my daughter
the best there is. The best in education, the best in health, the best in everything. So also the best in a good environment. It’s not only for my daughter, but also for my children’s children. A circular economy is
the best for all of us. – Just look at yourself,
find yourself again and make the right choice who you are and what you’re going to do and what you’re going to consume, that’s the most important thing of all. (gentle music) – The starting point was several different research projects in different areas. But the first one that arrived
to obtain important results was what we have defined in
the complexation of starch. So the possibility to use
starch as a regular plastics. From this first application,
new products were generated and together with these new
products also a new approach to chemistry and to the use
of renewable raw materials and to the exploitation of
biodegradability was developed. These products are part of
the raw materials that can be transformed in order to obtain Mater-Bi. Mater-Bi, that is bio plastics made using starch complexation technology. So it’s a way to combine starch with some specific materials to
obtain biodegradability. – So the inputs are entirely
natural from bio-based inputs and the output is entirely biodegradable. – It is completely biodegradable
material that can be transformed in several different products. And these objects can be used
for different applications and then can be disposed in an
industrial composting plant. – These are often the
products that we dispose of very quickly in our throwaway society. And not only will they
degrade but you’re saying the plastic bag will degrade as well. – Exactly so it’s a
perfect support to divert organic waste from landfill
and from incineration. – Now this is interesting
because this looks to me like diapers or disposable nappies. And these are biodegradable also? – Yes this is a back sheet. The back sheet is made one
of our Matter-Bi grades and the back sheet is bio degradable. – So how long would it take to get from that to this to that? – It depends from the different
objects, but the time can vary between a few weeks
and a couple of months. – So 30 days, 60 days, quite quick. – 30 days, quite quick, quite quick. – Yeah. – So the different raw materials are mixed and those and here the reaction, the transformation happens and this is the finished product. – It looks like spaghetti
when it comes to through here. – Yes, we are in Italy, we like spaghetti. – Okay so it comes through as plastic, bio plastic spaghetti, and
then it ends up down there. – And then the product is
cut down in small pieces and the granules are prepared. – Okay and those granules are what then goes to your clients. – These granules go to our
customers to be transformed furtherly in different items, films, sheets or injection molded items. (gentle music) – We’ve been looking at the
process of producing bio plastics and those converting
into compostable plastics, one of which is the
Lavazza coffee capsule. And that comes to you
at the end of its life and what do you do with it? – Yeah, we reuse the coffee
waste, the new capsule, and we use for making very good mushrooms. – Now we were told that the
plastic bio degrades and through a composting process is
once again good for the soil and have you tested what the
quality of that compost is? – Yeah, we have tested that
the vegetables grows much more with this kind of soil
than the normal soil. It grows 30% more, means we
have 30% more of zucchini, 30% of salad so just putting
the coffee waste in the soil. So you have to try it, it’s amazing. – And this is a relatively
new idea, of upcycling, can you explain what you mean by that? – We take the waste of production of food, means the coffee grounds, and
we use to produce food again, we use to produce mushrooms,
very good mushrooms. So the coffee is going back to the soil to produce new food after producing food. – So you’re actually creating
value from what would’ve previously just been
waste gone to landfill and possibly created a
problem in the environment, you have now created new value. – Yeah, it’s a very good example. (gentle music) ♪ Yesterday we followed the road ♪ ♪ We drove all day to watch the coast ♪ ♪ It remembered me the
beauty of this life ♪ ♪ Such a feeling may last ♪ – We take almost a quarter
million tons of food waste from anywhere, from households
to manufacturing plants to retailers, and we transform
it here into renewable energy and as a byproduct of that we
also produce a fertilizer that goes back on the field, so
true closed loop process. – So this particular plant
will take around 45,000 tons of food waste in a year
and generate around 45,000 megawatt hours of
electricity which is enough to power around 40,000 homes. This is where all the food first arrives from wherever it’s come from, whether it’s come from someone’s home or from manufacturing
or from a restaurant, and it will be brought in
here in big, big trucks. The guys will tip it on
the floor, mix it up, and the more it’s mixed the
better it is for the process. – So once it’s been
dumped here, how long does it sit here before it goes into process? – Ideally it doesn’t sit on the floor for any more than a day. The fresher it is the
more calorific value, so the more gas we can generate. – Right, right, so you take it from here and then it goes into
the process behind me. What happens here? – The mobile equipment
will pick it up in a bucket and transport it into the hoppers that you can see behind you. And in those hoppers it will
be mixed and then it’s slowly fed into a big machine that pulverizes it into as small a particle
as possible and then liquid is fed into it, so it creates
a slurry, a pumpable liquid. – Alright now we’ve seen
inside the process of receiving the food waste, mangling it
up and turning it into a kind of slurry and then it comes
outside into these tanks, so what happens in that process? – [Lawrence] The first part of the process is the liquid will go
into the raw waste tank and there it’s mixed and blended together and then it’s slowly fed into the two tall digestion tanks where
it’ll digest over a period of 35 to 40 days, generating methane. That methane is then
pumped to the gas holder, which is the green bubble you see. There the gas is mixed and
transported to the engines, which turn it into electricity. – Okay, so that’s where the
green electricity is that you create and you feed into the
grid, but presumably you’re left behind with all of that waste and slurry, what happens to that? – Once we’ve used all of
the gas from the liquid, the liquid is then sent to a
pasteurizer where it is cooked at 70 degrees to kill off
any pathogens or any germs remaining in the process and then that liquid is then stored in tanks. And there it will stay until
it’s needed for the local fields around us, where it’s spread as a nitrogen rich bio-fertilizer. This product has actually proved very beneficial to the farmers. Over tests they’ve managed
to gain a much higher yield from the digestate
fertilizer that they’ve used from our process, compared to a chemical fertilizer that they’ve used in the past. – When I look at this process
that we’ve seen here today, it’s ticking a lot of boxes,
it’s doing a lot of things right, it’s solving a lot of problems. Why hasn’t this gone to scale? – It requires legislative support. There are incentives that
we use to effectively fund the plant over the long term. One of the barriers really, again for this specific industry, is how do you get more food waste out of that 10 million tons. It’s a huge problem for the UK, it’s a huge problem for the world. If you look at Scotland and
Wales, both of those sets of authorities have done a really good job in forcing food waste out of landfill. If I look at where food waste goes today, there is still a huge amount
that goes to the landfill, typically out of our householders bags. There’s a huge amount
that goes to incineration, which arguably scientifically
is not the right thing to do. So we’ve got to do more,
there’s still millions of tons out there to go after. (dramatic music) – What we see around
us here is the hosting of various waste tires in this depot. On a daily basis there’s a
process where each and every transporter who has been allocated an area of about 50 kilometer radius has been given an opportunity to daily go and collect tires from
the different dealerships. We’ve got waste pickers who collect as individuals and they earn a living. So daily there’s a
transporter who benefits, there’s also a waste picker who benefits – Phumla, how long have
you been doing this job and what does it entail, what does a normal day look like for you? – Okay, I’ve been doing
this, it’s about a year and six months now and I’m
with collecting waste tires and my daily routine is I
go to certain places where I usually know that there
is tires around there. And then I collect to
the nearby a place where I store them and call REDISA
to come and pick the tires up. – The thing that makes me
get to work is because I know that this cause is far higher
than just repurposing tires. We have mothers who have never owned bank accounts in their lives. The first time I went out
into the field to register our first group of waste
collectors into the program, when we returned after
their training program, we issued them with their bank cards and I had a 53 year old
woman break out in tears. And I thought, what have
I done to offend her? And she said to me nobody’s
ever done this for me, you don’t understand,
it was impossible for me to get a bank account before, because I don’t have
a residential address, I don’t have a credit record,
so there was just no way. But through us becoming a
collective bargaining tool, we were able to negotiate with the banks to empower these people
to have a bank account. I have transporters in our
network who would write me letters to advise on the fact
that this is the first time ever they’ve been able to pay school fees, what a pleasure it is to own
their own home, to have that. So this waste into worth is far
more than just talking about the commodity or converting the commodity. Worth speaks into self-worth,
it speaks into growth, it speaks into development of people. And I think because our
heart is in the right place, we do know that through pushing
for the circular economy, we are able to change lives. – How do you see the
benefits of being involved in a business like REDISA? – Three years back when
I started with REDISA, I was not working, I didn’t
have a car, the only thing I had was a small bakkie with a trailer. And I manage to register with them and I was appointed as a transporter. So far after three years I
managed to get four trucks and I’m giving work, I’m giving something to eat to about six families. So REDISA really helped me, even my children they
go to a better school. I also managed to pay all my debt. – There’s a lot of social
benefits and economic spin-offs. – Can you give it a specific
example of somebody you know whose life has been changed
by being involved in REDISA? – An example is me. – Yes, well tell us your story. – Yes my life has changed completely. I got very, very sick and at
my age I couldn’t get any job. In life if you are not working
it’s very, very difficult, more especially if you’re not a thief and you don’t know what to do. And then you get an opportunity like this. It has changed me forever
and I’m a better man and my family enjoys the opportunities that I give them you know. And they benefit, you know. We have food on the table and
also, you know, as Africans, it’s not only your family that benefits, it’s not only my family, there are other close families that
benefit also, you know. I’m currently employing 14 people. I started with about six people and they also support their families. So my life has changed
to see other people happy and also myself happy and healthy. If only all the other
industries can look at this, other waste processes, in this fashion, I think it can go a long way to creating a healthy South Africa. And also we’re having a lot of businesses springing up and people getting jobs. Remember when you talk of waste pickers, you’re talking of family, probably the whole entire
family is not working. And now suddenly they
are able to collect tires and these tires bring food onto the table. And that’s what motivates
me, that at least people are getting jobs and people
are doing something, you know. Waste is worth something if people can put their mind into it. And when I grew up, that was 1976 when we burned these tires, but today I’m creating
jobs with these tires. So I’m very proud to say my
end will be a better one, you know, and I’m able to live in this South Africa that we’re in today. – Unlike a linear economy
where we’re taking, we’re making and we’re
disposing of products, in this case in South Africa we’re taking, we’re making, we’re not disposing, we’re diverting into another
industry which is looking at beneficiating and
transforming those tires into commodities to
add to economic growth, to allow for job creation and to allow for small
business development. – This is a an OTR downsizing process, so basically what we do,
we take a whole OTR tire which range from 1.5 tons
to about six tons per tire. The scale of the operation, I think we can do up to 120 tons per day. – [Wayne] Okay and after that it goes off and becomes other products, other uses. – Yes it then becomes a raw
material for other processes and those processes could be
to feed it as what they call tire derived fuel for cement kilns. You can take it further and convert it to what we call crumb. That is used for making rubber products and used for road paving. And then there is also a
process called pyrolysis which is the extraction of
oils or fuel from these tires. – Now what is it that
personally motivates you to be involved in a business like this. You know, you could be
doing many other things, is there a personal drive? – It’s about where we
grew up, I mean tires were always an unspoken problem. They became breeding grounds
for all kinds of diseases, even though we don’t
have malaria in this part of the country, but mosquitoes and other insects still
carry other diseases. In summer after rains you know, as children it became very difficult. We could hardly play outside
because of the amount of mosquitoes that would
have bred in these tires. But also in winter, I mean if you go to most townships, the smoke is there. Yes there is coal also, but
a huge part of it also came from tires and tires unlike coal also emit a lot of toxins when they are burned. So you are not only looking
after the physical environment but you are looking at
the health and wellbeing of the surrounding communities. So for me those are the
reasons that motivated me and that excite me about this business, because it does really excite me. (upbeat music) – So what kinds of things
can this rubber crumb become? – It can be used in various industries. I think the most common one is that used as infill for synthetic sport surfaces, for football or soccer. We’re actually looking at
developing ways that it can be utilized in industry, so we’re
looking at the paint industry for instance that utilizes
it for non-slip paint. We’re manufacturing acoustic
underlays and acoustic products that are utilized globally from
one of our other factories. We’re exporting those products
to 45 countries currently. And also we’ve developed a
market for paving bricks, interlocking mats for sloping driveways. But they really play a very strong role throughout the value chain. – And when you talk about
the kinds of products that come out of here it sounds to me like those products didn’t just exist. You had to find ways
to create new products, so I’m just interested
in the role of innovation in this whole circular economy as well. – That’s right, I think South
Africa in the utilization of rubber crumb is in its infancy. It’s not like many developed markets like in the United Kingdom
and the United States where it’s in a stage of maturity. So our role as processors
or recycler is to help from an innovation perspective to try and work with other industries to create innovative products from the products that
we’re producing here and also work with research institutions to try and spurn more or generate more innovation coming through. – Our experience shows
us that particularly those countries which are less developed, particularly those
countries which don’t have an industry which already exist, and those countries which
have a high labor force, are very well placed in
order to actually deal with their waste in this particular way. Creating in the developing
countries a cleaner environment is game-changing to the
whole future of our people. It is proven that when children
grow up and adults grow up in a cleaner and more good
environment that they have become more productive and actually
create better countries. (gentle music) – We are in the middle of
the mountains but actually the land that is part of
the metropolitan district of Quito is quite diverse in altitude. So we have many different ecosystems, some of them very fragile, so we are extremely
committed in protecting them, ensuring the next generations
to enjoy it as we can do, the beauties of our city
and the surrounding areas. – 90% of our territory is rural and is high endemic biodiversity. So we are in the future
foreseeing to declare specific protected areas what we have
now in natural resources. – It is obvious that
mobility is the main problem in the city, public transportation
issues, traffic jams. So we are approaching those problems through a sustainable vision. We started the construction of the first subway line in the city. This is the largest infrastructure
project ever in Quito. We are also building a cable
car system to serve those areas of the city that are located
in the top of the mountains. And that’s not only an
environmentally friendly project, but it is also an initiative that helps to regenerate areas that
have been poor for decades. – And Quito is a highly
known because of the efforts of conserving the
watersheds, to provide Quito for a long term water in a
better quality and in quantity. So we have developed this
specific water fund that is very well known and it was a
pioneer fund in Latin America. And now other cities
are doing the same thing to conserve these watersheds. – We’re also pursuing the
vision of a sustainable city through an appropriate
waste management system. – We have provided more than 40% of the city with waste containers. We are also working towards
introducing in the city a culture of recycling, separating waste from the very beginning. Likewise we are working
towards protecting our natural resources, prohibiting certain
activities that are harmful for the environment
like for example mining, which is actually an
activity that some sectors of the country were pursuing in that area, but we actually prohibited that through an ordinance in the metropolitan district. So these are a few examples
that reflect how we are fully committed in making our city not only a sustainable one but also
an example for the region. – It’s crucial to be sensitive, to be passionate about the things you do and sustainability is the
one that is a vocation, it’s a grain that you can add
to see that natural resources can be conserved for future
generations, for our kids, for our city, for our planet. (gentle music) – Ecuador is one of the
most biodiverse countries in the world and we try
to keep it that way. So we’re putting our grain of sand in the process and helping a bit. – This is all about recycling of waste, specifically Tetrapak. Now I know a little bit about
Tetrapak and to me it seems like a really difficult
material to recycle, because you’ve got a layer of cardboard, you’ve got a layer of foil
and a layer of plastic. How do you deal with that? – The thing is, we have two main products, one which is made from the
three types of material and the other one we take
the cardboard out through a process that’s called
hydro pulping and we use the cardboard to recycle
paper and we keep the foil and the plastic to make
the products you see here. – Okay and give me some
idea, I mean what kind of products can you make from Tetrapaks? – It’s amazing how versatile
Tetrapak really is. We make roofs, our
roofs can last 30 years. We have chairs, we have
outdoor furniture which is hand woven in Ecuador and we’re
sending that to the coast so they’re probably the most
skillful artisans in Ecuador. We have jewelry and we have
the countertops and we’re doing whole kitchens and
bathrooms with Tetrapak. So we’re turning waste
into something amazing, like something you
would have in your house and you would never know it’s Tetrapak. – What do you see is the future
for businesses like this? – Well it’s a great
business and we’re actually trying to expand internationally. Because the biggest impact of
this is the transportation, so we don’t want to bring
Tetra bricks from Mexico or from Panama, but we want
to process them locally and that way it will be less of an impact for the environment. – I mean you see Tetrapak
as a resource, it’s an input to your process and yet I understand that in other countries they’re
actually paid to get rid of it. – Yes and they pay a lot to get rid of it. – So not only are you
getting rid of a problem but actually it’s just
creating a product for you, so it’s a business
opportunity, everybody wins. – Yes, we can make pretty much
any product that’s using wood or cement or non-renewable materials and make something even better. The quality of our products
are better than the ones that are in the market right
now, so it’s a great business. (upbeat music) – We produce about 20,000 cars per year. Our production is one of
the most important here in Ecuador because the
market share of the company is about 48% of the total
market in the country. – Right, let’s look at
these crates over here and explain to me what’s
special about them. – The special thing about these
boxes, they are returnable. It means we can collapse
them, they go again to Japan, so the people there take new parts and goes over again to Ecuador. It happens about 10 times before the box is not useful anymore. – Okay and when you say
the box, you’re really talking about this metal frame. It’s much stronger, it
doesn’t break like the wood or like other casings, it’s
a very elegant solution. – Yeah it’s a pretty simple
idea, but in fact the results are very good for us,
because we are avoiding to buy another metal boxes. – What are the achievements
you’ve made here on environment? – [Adolfo] Our calculation
is that at this moment, 99% of the waste from the company, they are totally reusable or recycled. It means all the material has a solution or has a partner who makes
anything with the material. – [Wayne] So the whole chassis
of the car gets dipped into the water with lots of chemicals. What happens to that
water and those chemicals? – [Adolfo] Okay. The water goes to a
wastewater treatment plant. So the water is recovered, we
take off all the chemicals, all the hazardous materials,
and the water comes back, it’s a closed loop for the water. – Amazing so you’ve got
two closed loops there, the water is going round
and round your system and the chemical sludge waste
coming out of that process goes to the cement company Holcim and they use it as a
fuel for their process. – Yeah. (upbeat music) – Here we receive all the
water, we try to mix it up a little bit, we regulate
the pH of the wastewater and then we apply a
biological treatment system that is intended to remove
all the organic compounds that are present in the water. – [Wayne] So it comes
in, I guess through pipes and there’s some treatment tanks here. – [Fernanda] Yes. – And then it comes through to this, this is the sewer where
it used to be discharged. – Exactly, we use this discharge like from five to 6,000 cubic meters of treated water per month right here. – And now you discharge nothing? – Yes. We noted that there was
an opportunity for us, because we were discharging
like really good quality water to our sewage system. So we decided to a promote
a project to implement an ultra-filtration and
a reverse osmosis system that will allow us to get a
water with potable quality and this water will be used
in our biggest consumer of the plant, that is the paint shop. – So behind us is the technical process and you designed this.
– Yes. – Okay fantastic, as an
environmental engineer. And you get it to what kind of quality, I mean is it drinkable quality? – Yes, the water is drinkable. – Really.
– Yes. – So I could drink a glass of this water and I won’t die? – No you wouldn’t die.
(laughing) – Well maybe we should do
that now, I brought a glass. – [Fernanda] That’s the
water quality we get here. – Okay and this is water
that’s come out of that plant that we were just in, with all
the chemicals and the paint and the treatment and now
it should be drinkable. – Yes, it’s purified water. – Cheers, well done.
– Cheers. – It’s like drinking
distilled water, right? – Exactly.
– Completely pure. – Completely pure. You can keep going with
industrial process while you take care of the environment
and while you do something to solve some kind of problems. This project was not approved because of the financial profit or benefits. This project was approved because it has a lot of environmental
and social benefits. (dramatic music) – Is there a way that you also
re-utilize your resources? – What keeps you motivated,
what inspires you to take care of the environment while you
also take care of your cows? (upbeat music) – [Wayne] What was this
area like in the past? – Seeing that you’re protecting this for the future generation, that you really believe
that, is wonderful to hear. – So really you know we have
to engage people in this and we have to make them
want to actually be a part of this equation and
get their participation. – Part of our problem in
moving towards circularity is most people neither
see the importance of it nor exactly know how to do it. They’re not engineers
and actually very often it’s much easier to see the complications than it is to see the longer-term benefits and that’s why I think
the political leadership and the government endorsement
and you know subsidy for the right sorts of
activities is so crucial. – I think businesses have to lead. In my time working in NGOs
or in business I haven’t seen the leadership that the
world needs from governments. Again I think governments in some places and sometimes are more
short term than businesses. – Well it’s very hard for
governments which are in a short cycle of voting and
elections, four or five years, to make long-term decisions. And so what we find is that sustainability is about investing for the long-term and the pressure is all short-term. And especially in a democracy
what is often very difficult is asking the public to make short-term sacrifices for a long-term gain. – We love to accumulate stuff I think, it’s a very human condition. You know we’ve kind of,
we relate stuff back to our sense of self and
our values if you like and our status in society. So to suddenly give up stuff
and to access it rather than own it outright, it’s
going to be quite a step for us to make and getting
that messaging right is going to be critical going forward. And the circular economy
community hasn’t really worked that out yet I don’t think, they haven’t really done much work around the public engagement piece that’s needed. – We expect even in our countries in our economies to always be growing. If we’re not growing it’s a crisis. We expect our businesses
to always be growing. So we’ve got a set of expectations which are actually fundamentally in conflict with the finite planet that we live on. On the one hand humans have
always been at the frontiers, they’ve always been expanding,
conquering territories, and generally it’s been a
part of increased consumption, increased utilization of land and energy, that’s been the story of human evolution. On the other hand it’s only
fairly recently that we have been so wealthy that we haven’t had to think about reusing or recycling. It wasn’t that long ago when, whether it was the milkman
bringing milk bottles back for us to reuse, or darning our socks when
they had holes in them, this was normal and it was because it was too expensive to do something else. I think one of the changes that’s happened is we’ve lost sight of
what makes us happy. You know, our fundamental
human needs hasn’t changed but the way that we satisfy
those needs has changed. In a way we could say rather
facetiously we invented advertising, we invented
consumption, to say that you can’t be happy unless
you have more stuff. Whereas of course for thousands of years we were happy without stuff. That’s one of the elements
of the take-make-waste throwaway society that we’ve bought into. And we need to really question
that, we need to teach our kids that it’s not okay just to want more, it’s not necessarily going
to make them happier. There is something about human psychology where we want to feel that we’re growing. We have to just think
about what growth means. Does growth always mean more
or does it mean development, does it mean we’re
increasing our satisfaction, that we’re evolving, that we’re learning as a society, as a city, as a family. – Well I think the linear
economy is the prevailing model because simply the world
is just not in tune or necessarily aware
of the circular model, and it’s economic and societal benefits. So it seems to us that part
of the challenge is that the circular stakeholders
are still working in silos. So they’re not, the community
isn’t one community yet, and the purpose, our
purpose of forming this, accelerating the Circular
Economy program is in fact to bring all these
stakeholders into this space so that they can form partnerships that will help speed up and scale. And of course you know
this includes technology and new innovations, this
includes policy makers who can create regulatory
frameworks that enable circular business models to flourish, and this of course includes investors. – What needs to happen, companies need to make these products, well they need to make more
of them more affordable, so they need to scale. These ideas need to scale and
become commercially feasible in a way that’s also affordable. They all carry a premium and
if you want circular solutions to basically take off they need
to be made more affordable. We could enter, maybe 10
years’ time we could see a circular economy that’s
just built for the elite. And actually what happens
then about access? You know if ordinary people
can’t access these products then they’re not going to benefit from them and that’s a real problem. – If we over-engineered
the circular economy we’ll never get it off the drawing board, certainly not to hundreds if
not thousands of companies. So take Marks & Spencer for example, we sell 35,000 different product lines, that’s a big challenge to think circular. But if I look at it another way and say well 28,000 items are clothing. How do we sell clothing in a
fundamentally different way? How do we ensure that
customers get a great product that lasts as long as it possibly can, but when you finish with
it there is an easy way to return it to Marks & Spencer? And that’s what we’ve done
with our shwopping campaign with Oxfam, return your
used M&S clothing to us or to Oxfam, we donate it
to Oxfam, they reuse it, they resell it, there’s 99.9%
of the fiber they get back is reused to create value for Oxfam in their overseas development work. That’s fantastic, it’s done with real scale and real authority. Now we get back three to
four million items a year. That’s not 100% of what we sell, it’s 1%, so again we’re challenging ourselves as to how we get that to scale. But that’s still a fairly
significant number, three to four million items a year. So we’ve got a challenge
there about simplification, make it as easy as possible. The second challenge we’ve got
is to actually get businesses working together on this,
particularly competitors. We will not create a sustainable economy simply because little old Marks & Spencer decides it wants to do it on its own. We need to show as many
different participants in the UK global economy are doing it,
partly because everybody’s raw material is somebody else’s waste, is somebody else’s opportunity
for resource as well. So the more people that are
participating, the more that materials can be used, the
more we can get the synergies and efficiencies of scale
collection of materials and bring them back as well. So only by doing those two things, simplification and scaling
it across many different businesses, will we create
the truly circular economy. – I think it really
does come down to cost. There’s a lot of local authorities who are doing the right thing. I think what we need is some support from the government to try
and push that forward. And don’t forget it’s
not just householders, you’ve got retail organizations,
you’ve got commercial organizations, how do
we support those guys, how do we make them think
more about their food waste? There’s an awful lot going
on, don’t get me wrong, people are really focused on
it, but I think there’s another push we can make to try and
get another slice of that food waste out of the residual
stream into plants like these. – The trouble is with the
circular economy you can’t just design a circular product
or service in isolation. The whole system has to change with it. You know that circular
product will only go so far if you’ve still got a linear
economic system supporting it. – We can now use 30
years of climate change as a true innovation engine. We can reinvent all our materials
to be good from biological or technical systems and we
need the support of the people, because if they just sit back
and relax we will be too slow. And I say, let’s say celebrate life, let’s welcome people to this
planet, then we could even be 20 billion people on
this planet and be good for the other species as
well, so it’s up to us. We now have the expertise
together, it’s now time to act. – Right off the bat
it’s increased revenues, it’s reduced cost, it’s reduced risk, increased tangible values, in
other words it could be brand recognition, and there’s also
the positive impact on society and the environment, so I think this is a clearer solution for
a triple bottom line. – If you think about
starting a business today, designing a business around a
circular economy philosophy, ultimately it’s going to give you better returns in the long run. Because it’s going to be, it’s going to use
resources more efficiently, it’s going to use more efficient energy, it’s going to treat
customers I believe in a way that over the next five or 10 years customers will want to be treated. So I think commercially it’s
a savvy way to progress. Why would you throw something away that’s valuable, why would you do that? And I hope, I think it’s West who are perhaps lagging behind, we are in such a throw away economy, where in the places where there is less stuff then I think we’re seeing that they are using it more efficiently. – We’ve embarked on a journey
towards sustainability a number of years ago in
many of our other companies. And we’ve realized that
sustainability and the environment provides us with
opportunities and we don’t see environmental legislation
or environmental mandates as a threat, we see it as an opportunity from a cost perspective,
from a brand perspective, from developing products that utilize a high content of recycled materials. So essentially it’s created a
platform for us to innovate. – There are a lot of customers
that value sustainability and doing good for the
environment and they choose for Interface on behalf of that. But still a lot of customers,
for a lot of customers sustainability is only a
secondary consideration. They primarily choose us
for the prime function that they expect from our product. Its design, its low cost of
ownership, its functionality. And what is fantastic that is
a lot of these design features and lots of these functionality features have their origin in a
sustainable development. In that sense I’m pretty optimistic because you see that
more and more companies are getting that and are realizing that. I think it’s also pretty
clear that companies with a strong sustainability vision are often the more successful companies. So that is an inspiration in itself. And look at Interface
we are with the distance the market leader in our
industry, we are performing also financially very, very well and we are an inspiration source for
the industry in general and certainly for the carpet industry. – If you’re using material
which was otherwise waste material, if you’re getting
very significant reductions in pollution and waste and
you’re using waste material as your fundamental building blocks then you ought to be able to reduce costs and also improve output
from the same resource base. – Last year we gave a check back to our CFO, 180 million pounds saved. Less energy, less waste, less
packaging, less carry bags, it all saved money for the business. Fantastic, she can open new stores to help us grow into the future. It also brought us more than that. We’re one of the most
trusted brands in the UK, we’ve got high levels
of trust and confidence for our employee base, which
drives them to go the extra mile through a lot of change
in the retail marketplace. It’s creating more resilience
in our supply chains as they are increasingly
affected by social challenge and extreme weather events as well. So Marks & Spencer is a
fundamentally better business today for doing Plan A over last decade. But it is not enough and we need to redouble our efforts into the future. And equally the business case
will be many times larger in the future if we land this model properly for our customers. – Renault is able to produce
from 30 to 50% cheaper for the customer, because
they’ve been able to optimize this process and about 80%
of their costs of production, so energy, water and so on so forth, has been reduced drastically as well. So if we take Renault as a case study, it definitely shows that circular economy not only is good for us,
but is also financially very strong to generate
competitive advantage, in this case because of cost reduction
and the attractivity of the same process for the
same products in the market. – Certainly if you talk to the likes of the World Economic Forum, if you talk to the Ellen
MacArthur Foundation, if you talk to McKinsey, they
will say yes, without a doubt. They’ve done a lot of
detailed modeling work that suggests massive opportunities for the companies who work
towards a circular economy. And recently I think a
report came out by Accenture who are a consultancy very
much engaged in this agenda, and they said for companies
that basically move towards circular business models by 2030 there’s a 4.5 trillion US dollar reward just waiting for them. For the manufacturer it’s great because it helps them I think in terms of their supply chains, in terms of safeguarding
raw materials going forward. So companies now are being
faced with kind of price volatility in their
supply chains with regards to how they source certain materials needed for their products and services. And if they can actually take
back these materials again and again and reuse them again
and again in their own supply chains, it just creates, it
future-proofs if you like, their business model going forward, it gives them security of supply. – Adopting a new model, an economic model, requires probably new
innovation approaches to things, it could be a product innovation, it could be a process innovation. So in essence a great positive
impact of a model like the circular economy would be innovation. It is, then we have, and
this could be disruptive, it could be disruptive innovation, in a positive way of course. – We can never underestimate
the power of the social impact that you’re achieving
through the circular economy. I think the world is facing
a number of challenges. I mean we have a challenge
of environmental impacts but we also have a challenge of the divide between rich and poor. And through the circular
economy you’re able to address this problem
because there’s a place for everybody in circular economy. – So as I travel and I
see many beautiful parts of the world, beautiful
people, beautiful places, nature and amazing bounty,
whether it’s you know the jungles of Ecuador, Costa Rica, or the beaches of Sri
Lanka, you know a lot of those are in danger,
they’re under threat. It could very well be that
one or two generations from now they don’t get to see those. And that makes me quite sad. We’re better than this,
we’re smarter than this. You know, we’ve created the problem, we can solve the problem. We just have to be more conscious about how we live, about our impacts. And I think we are getting smarter. It’s one of the things
that with our connected world today, with our high-tech world, we’re getting much, much better at. What’s emerging is a
collective consciousness, the idea of a living
planet is coming alive. You know it’s really a
choice about whether we want to coexist with the planet, or whether we want to live
in harmony with the planet, or whether we’re somehow like
a parasite on the planet. And we know what happens to parasites, their host dies and they die too. The only way that this
works is if sustainability, circular thinking, closing the loop, is applicable to everyone. This is not some luxury for the rich and wealthy and privileged. It has to be a solution for
people who are on lower incomes, perhaps people in developing countries. This must be an option where
they can make choices about how they consume, how they produce, that bring them a direct benefit. And it’s not impossible because a lot of that circular thinking goes back to a time when resources were scarce, whether it be during the World
Wars or the Great Depression, that’s when we were forced
to think about frugality, to say well, how do we reuse things, how do we recycle things? So no matter where you are in society, no matter who you are, you
can make those choices. You can educate your children
not to just throw things away, not to just leave the lights
on, to think about whether you really need something, to
think about where it goes when you throw it away, these are all things that we can all do. It’s not the privilege of the few, but rather the responsibility of us all. To see a world emerging all
around us in which landfills grow taller than skyscrapers
and in which rivers run dry, in which forests are burning, you know these things make me sad. And I don’t want to be melodramatic, but if you look at the numbers if you look at the trends, it’s not good news. What I want us to focus
on is what’s possible, because I’ve seen that
change can happen really fast and that that dystopian world, that world of our nightmares,
is not inevitable. We need to think about this
revolution that we’re going through as a way in which
we can make our mark on this earth, a positive footprint. It’s up to us to be part of the solution, and actually we’re all
looking for meaning in life. Well what could be more meaningful than making life flourish
rather than destroying life. We can buy into this mission, we can make it our personal mission to be part of the solution. At the end of the day, what do you want to tell your grandchildren? Were you part of the problem or were you part of the solution? Do you want to be part of
the decline of civilization or do you want to be on the side of hope, of reinvention, of recreation,
of the kind of life and the kind of Earth that we
were really meant to enjoy? The choice, as always, is yours. (upbeat music)

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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