The amount of materials we consume and waste?!
MPH showcase facilities can physically reduce waste to landfill by 90%.
The amount of materials that countries, like the US and Germany, consume, has surpassed 15,000 KG per person per year. The majority of material consumption is in the form of minerals, fossil fuels, cement, plastics, steel, wood, etc. Treating the world´s resources as limitless is leading us towards very challenging times ahead. Read more about this, in the Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity Report. Alternatively, check out a recent article published by The Guardian on this urgent topic and be sure to follow the group, Circularity Gap Report, which focuses on making this data and information, understandable and actionable for the general public.
But with all this information out there – why are policies and subsidies not being revised? What would happen if we halved our global fossil fuel production and started subsidizing bamboo instead of concrete and renewable energy instead of fossil fuels? Would the world’s food supply collapse or come to a complete standstill? What if we divested from chemical fertilizers and invested more into agroforestry and permaculture? Why are drastic measures to protect our planet, not really being considered by the industry? What will it actually take?
Since 1970, while our population has doubled, our consumption patterns have increased 4x from 1970 levels. We are consuming 2x more resources per person per year than we were in 1970. Housing, communications, consumer goods, energy, and food production make up the majority of things that we produce from our primary and finite resource stocks. And we are only recycling 8.6% of these materials.
The world’s virgin resource production and distribution is controlled by a very small group of homo sapiens and it has made them extremely wealthy and powerful. At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, investors were interested in how to achieve exponential growth through innovation. Investors are seeking ways to establish new, transformative business models, rather than just trying to improve on today´s businesses. But what does this even mean within our current environmental crisis?
In our observation, in the field of environmental sustainability in Indonesia, we are seeing that revenue and earnings are imperative metrics, but also, that they can be manipulated, and that value is a very relative term. Value denotes the degree of importance of our actions, beliefs, and ethics and currently, privatized value is not connected to our immediate environment. Which continues to raise the question of, how might we redefine value? How might we better connect investment and decision making, so that it directly values and benefits the environment?
Perhaps we can connect value, to our world’s material biophysical constraints and boundaries, so that our assumptions are not independent of the world’s physical boundaries. The Global population is expected to grow to 9 billion humans by 2050. Biodiversity loss, ecological collapse, and food security are all interconnected. The concepts behind the circular economy principles, provide simple tools and solutions for us to implement. We have started out to do our small share and are using MPH to focus our efforts on building community-owned material management facilities, that can continue to grow and develop into locally relevant circular economy hubs for Indonesia.
“If it can´t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be prevented and removed from production. We all know that exponential growth cannot continue on a finite planet and we need to build infrastructure that closes the loop.”Sean Nino Lotze – Co Founder of the MPH projects