August 10th, 2010, posted by Shore Crew Tags: Campaigns, David de Rothschild, Design, Recycling, Waste

David met with Dan Hill, senior consultant at Arup Australasia, and a group of some of Australia’s waste industry, environmental, architecture, and government experts last week to discuss the growing issue of waste management that Australia is facing. Ian Kiernan, Chairman and Founder of Clean up the World was also present, moderating the group discussion.

David and Robert Care, CEO of Arup Australasia

David spoke about the importance of reframing the concept of waste, saying “there is no such thing as waste. We are just ignorant of the value of resources”. He also urged the use of imagination and storytelling to drive popular support for environmental measures. Dan Hill made some really great points about the need for design to think about influencing the behaviour of citizens, and about how “The industry will build where the market is”.

Further key recommendations arising from the discussion included:
• Reorganising Australian culture to encourage the reuse of resources
• The promotion of ‘heirloom’ products, designed to last a lifetime
• Thinking in the long rather than short term when designing policy, using at least a 40 to 50 year timeframe
• Recognising consumers’ natural inertia when designing sustainability initiatives, for example by legislating for people to opt out rather than in to using green energy

How we deal with waste is a topic of hot discussion and an area undergoing huge innovations, but before we see the technologies and designs hitting the main stream there are still changes we can all make. Consumers can lead the way and if we create demand then markets will follow- and soon we could see an explosion in new materials and products that embrace the low waste philosophy, from grocery goods to life time purchases.

And remember there is no ‘away’, all our waste has to end up somewhere – whether we can see it or not.

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