Introduction to a Pacific Circular Economy

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Globally, consumption patterns generally following a linear “take-make-waste” model. In the Pacific and Timor-Leste this means that items are imported or manufactured, and, at the end of their useful life, there are limited viable alternatives but for the items to be disposed into overflowing landfills or the environment. When items are disposed without recycling, we are throwing away precious materials, resulting in the need for new resources to be extracted.

This linear model impacts Pacific islands and Timor-Leste by contributing to :

• overflowing landfills – waste disposed estimated at 1,141 tonnes per day
• marine pollution - marine plastic pollution potential of estimated at 365 tonnes per day
• terrestrial pollution (burned, buried, littered, or dumped) - estimated at 227 tonnes per day
• and climate change, and biodiversity loss effects.

The costs of this linear model are borne by national and local governments for landfill management – cost of disposing waste for the region an estimated USD $44,293 per day1 – and by the health of communities and the environment.
  • Circular-Economy-Factsheet.pdf