Category Archives: Consumption

For a true war on waste, the fashion industry must spend more on research

These are admirable initiatives, but they only reduce wastage or delay garments from ending up in landfill. They do not address the fact that the scale of fast fashion is so massive it can easily eclipse other sustainability initiatives.

Virtual Waste: Flowing from a data center near you

Thinking with virtual data demonstrates that reduction of material waste alone does not mean a reduction of an overall environmental footprint on this planet.

We can’t recycle our way to ‘zero waste’

Why is recycling low on the waste hierarchy?

Pristine paradise to rubbish dump: the same Pacific island, 23 years apart

Remember, this is not waste that was dumped directly by human hands. It was washed here on ocean currents, meaning that this is not just about one beach – it shows how much the pollution problem has grown in the entire ocean system in little more than two decades.

Recycling Reconsidered: A must-read text for discard studies

If I could only recommend one text in discard studies, it would be Recycling Reconsidered by Samantha MacBride (2011, MIT Press).

“Viewed as a concept by some, a framework by others, the CE is an alternative to a traditional take-make-dispose linear economy. A CE aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. The value is maintained or extracted though extension of product lifetimes by reuse, refurbishment, and remanufacturing as well as closing of resource cycles—through recycling and related strategies.”

Powerful supermarkets push the cost of food waste onto suppliers, charities

Our research into the issue of corporate social responsibility and wastage of fresh fruit and vegetables has identified a number of tensions and contradictions, despite leading Australian supermarkets’ zero food waste targets.

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Electronics Reuse and Recycling in Peru: A Photographic exploration

A walk down this little street in Peru’s capital provides a glimpse into an understated network that quietly plays a critical role in reducing the environmental impacts of our global production and consumption patterns of electronic devices.

An Introduction to Hoarding

One the one hand, hoarding is framed as a response to material deprivation. On the other, it is understood to result from the excesses of the late capitalist mode of production.