Circulate on Fridays: IDEO explore car sharing, Coca-Cola target re-use, and the tiny ocean plastic problem
Rounding out the week with Circulate on Fridays, featuring four of our favourite circular economy stories from the past seven days.
We get caught up in the cool tech, the cute cars and the controversy, but how will self-driving cars really affect the way we live? In 2015, design agency IDEO explored this with The Future of Automobility, an interactive exploration of automated vehicles through the areas of personal mobility, logistics and office space. This week a fourth scenario was released for you to explore. ‘The future of moving together’ offers compelling suggestions how driverless vehicles could usher in a shared, on demand and multi-modal mobility system. The result looks like a better experience for users, and extra value generated though more effective use of these automotive assets. If you want to apply some of this IDEO-style thinking to your next design challenge, check out the Circular Design Guide developed in conjunction with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Coca-Cola recently announced that it plans to trial a deposit-return scheme for drinks cans and bottles in Scotland, and Arthur Nelsen provided useful context in the Guardian this week. The announcement has surprised others in the fast moving consumer goods industry, and encouraged those who believe that shifting to reuse could offer financial and resource benefits, supporting the shift to a circular economy. A 2013 report on the circular economy found that, in the case of beer, shifting to reusable glass bottles would lower costs by 20% per hectolitre of beer consumed. Perhaps now we’ll find out if this type of model really stacks up.
If you thought the circular economy was all about repairing and remanufacturing our stuff, then think again. That’s just part of the picture, and there’s amazing innovation going on in the biological cycle, especially when it comes to farming. Yesterday Daniel Christian Wahl shared an in depth introduction to regenerative agriculture , packed with stories of the people reinventing our food system.
Talking of stories, the Story of Stuff Project shared a new one this week. This time, Annie Leonard and her team target microfibres, the tiny pieces of plastic that come off clothing during washing. The video points out that whilst using recycled plastic in clothing might seem like a good idea, these tiny uncapturable fibres are is still being lost, avoiding collection methods and finding their way into the ocean. Annie says we need to go back to the design phase to re-think the system. We couldn’t agree more.