Event report: Circular Economy Think Tank #2

Events

Dec 12, 2019

Event report: Circular Economy Think Tank #2

Purpose

NSW Circular – in partnership with the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and the UNSW SMaRT Centre – jointly hosted the second of three sessions in its Circular Economy Think Tank Series at UNSW on 26 November.

The purpose of this second Think Tank was to:

  • explore opportunities to recover more textiles from the domestic waste stream
  • develop ideas to reduce the amount of textiles entering the stream
  • investigate innovative ways to reclaim and repurpose unwanted textiles.

The session identified ways to get what is in the bin out for higher order use and or/repurposing and identify new and different ways to reduce the amount of textile/clothing entering domestic waste stream. It brought together key stakeholders across relevant supply chains and included people representing clothing, waste industry, local councils, state government business, health and circular economy programs, fashion, charity and innovation sectors.

Speakers

  • Hazel Storey, Regional Strategic Coordinator, Resource Recovery, SSROC (MC)
  • Anders Hallgren, Chief Operating Officer, NSW Circular
  • Farshid Pahlevani, Senior Research Fellow, NSW Circular
  • Omar Soker, CEO, NACRO
  • Camille Reed, Founder & Director, Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA)
  • Graham Ross, Co-founder, Blocktexx
  • Dane Galpin, Studio Lead, ThinkPlace (facilitator)

Dolphin Tank

An expert panel of four who scored the solution ‘pitches’ presented by participants.

  1. Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director SMaRT@UNSW & NSW Circular
  2. Omar Soker, CEO, NACRO
  3. Camille Reed, Founder & Director, Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA)
  4. Graham Ross, Co-founder, Blocktexx

Attendance

  • Event organisers/facilitators (ThinkPlace, SSROC, NSW Circular, students etc): 11
  • Dolphin Tank: 4
  • Invitees: 31

Activities and outcomes

Think Tank participants investigated solutions to issues surrounding unwanted clothing and manchester, latex mattresses, flock and carpets – as they affect not only local government, but also present challenges and circular economy opportunities for all sectors who participated.

Ideas presented on the day (there were 15) ranged from finding solutions to the lack of latex recycling, through certification and product stewardship schemes, low-tech (and high-tech) collection and sorting systems to improving recoverability, providing essential textile resources for Pacific nations, and the need for a shared data platform.

These ideas will be investigated further during a series of ‘incubation’ sessions conducted by SSROC and NSW Circular – to determine their suitability as potential pilot projects.

See the ThinkPlace Tracker Report for more specific information and outcomes from this event. And see here for the event report for Think Tank #1.

The SSROC/NSW Circular/UNSW Sydney Circular Economy think tanks are designed to create, identify and progress opportunities to increase recovery and reforming of materials that are currently found in the SSROC recycling stream. The focus is on thinking differently – from multiple standpoints.

Feedback

Participants described the day as fun, informative and relationship building. Survey feedback included:

  • Great networking, awareness, fun and a great reality check of ideas
  • Learned quite a bit about broader less-common categories of textiles.
  • I will share what I learned today and look for opportunities to increase awareness.
  • Enjoyed ability to mix with a diverse range of people from industry and government.
  • Increased my understanding on other challenges (carpets etc).
  • Very informative and a great way to get an overview of existing opportunities and the future.

These Circular Economy think tanks are designed to create, identify and progress opportunities to increase recovery and reforming of materials that are currently found in the SSROC recycling stream. The focus is on thinking differently, from multiple standpoints to deliver new solutions to problems and create new opportunities and supply chains for more sustainable outcomes.

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