Growing up, I remember faulty appliances being fixed by either my grandad or at a local repair shop - where a man with a never-ending array of tools would get the job done. We bought when we needed, not when we wanted. We wasted nothing. And I'm not talking about the middle of the 20th Century; I grew up in the late 90's.
From a monetary point of view, unwanted presents have to be the biggest waste at yuletide, and then add the stress of actually buying something 'possibly' desired, interesting, useful, etc. At least the excesses of food gluttony, the nuclear winner panic buying can be composted, most presents end up in a life-laundry-hide-and-seek-game; some may make it under the wire to a charity shop.
It feels wrong to be advocating recycling less. And especially during Recycle Week, when I feel like I should really be championing recycling and encouraging everyone to recycle as much as they can. And don't get me wrong. I am a big supporter of recycling, and an advocate of recycling. But only if we've explored all the other options in the 'Waste Hierarchy' first.
Yes, we need to recycle. We need big companies to be transparent about their sustainability credentials, and we need to challenge 'greenwash', but more importantly than that, we all need to be creating change ourselves. And that doesn't just mean sending an angry tweet or signing a petition. It means actual physical changes to our behaviours.
The takeaway coffee habit is now part of most people's lives. What people didn't previously realise is that of the seven million coffee cups used each day in the UK, only 1% of them are recycled. People think they are recyclable, and technically they are - but it is too difficult and expensive to separate the inner plastic membrane from the cardboard, and so they end up in landfill or are incinerated.
I can think of 29 billion reasons why the UK needs to adopt the circular economy, and urge businesses to realise this is our Galileo moment. The world is round and the circular economy is no longer just a theory, it's happening here and now, and it should be top of the agenda in every boardroom in the country.
In an attempt to refine the information overload, I have picked the articles that I think are most engaging; voices that will both inspire and anger; brands worthy of attention; and concepts that will encourage reflection on this industry and how we interact with it. Here are the five topics that dominated the discussion: