Tracking Plastics

WATO joins Circular Economy discussions at the General Assembly.


WATO joins Circular Economy discussions at the General Assembly, London

WATO attended the Tracking Plastics event on 28 May, run by the Ministry of Waste, as part of the OpenIDEO Circular Design Challenge at the General Assembly.

Daisy Kendrick, founder of We Are The Oceans, joined the panel on reimagining plastics in the circular economy, and discussed the need for individuals to make appropriate behavioural changes to increase the viability of the takeoff of the circular economy. Daisy spoke about the need for the education of millennials and Generation Z in order to make this happen, as these generations make up a large section of society and collectively have a vast amount of consumer purchasing power. She highlighted WATO’s approach to educating millennials using digital platforms and smartphone technology, bringing the oceans and its importance to them on their terms. This approach thus far has been highly successful with over 4 million gamers engaging with WATOs content, aimed at empowering younger generations to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Circular Economy concept advocates a move away from the more traditional ‘take, make and dispose’ model which is hugely wasteful, and a move towards a ‘restorative and regenerative’ economy by designing waste out of the process.

Our society uses and disposes vast amounts of objects, and we buy new items all the time to be up to date with the latest trends. The problem with this is that every time we make something new, we’re eating into the finite resources that we have on planet Earth.

Adopting a circular economy model would mean that products would be designed to be repurposed a number of times, rather than having a limited lifespan and then being sent to landfill. So this would mean designing the product and its components with a view to taking them apart again in a few years and putting the components back to work in another model.

This is a very different attitude to the current, linear, model and requires widespread behaviour change in order to make it work. The first step is to spread the word about the concept, and to make people aware of the effects that our throwaway society has on our global resources.