Every year local governments in Canada spend approximately $3.2 billion managing 34 million tonnes of waste, according to Statistics Canada.
Waste generation is a global problem and Canada is among the worst offenders, producing more garbage per capita than 16 other OECD nations, according to the Conference Board of Canada. It's time to do something about it and the solution is not better waste management but waste prevention.
The Circular Economy
In today's economy, we extract resources, manufacture and use products for a short time, and then dispose of them as waste. This linear "take-make-dispose" model of production and consumption generates too much garbage, and puts pressure on finite natural resources. By contrast, in a circular economy, the way we design, produce and use products is transformed to eliminate waste, keep materials in high-value use and regenerate natural systems.
Spearheaded globally by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy represents a positive vision for the future – one where economic development does not come at the cost of the environment. It goes beyond treating the symptoms of our wasteful economy to addressing the root causes – eliminating waste by designing it out and preventing it in the first place. What's more, shifting to a circular economy, supports job creation, economic development, and innovation as well as environmental protection.