Over the past five years, there has been a growing recognition in Australia that the current approach to managing consumer waste cannot continue. Every year, over 20 million tonnes are sent to be buried in landfill, a substantial portion of which could have been reused or recycled if the right systems and incentives were in place. Of all the potential forms of waste diversion, reuse is the most carbon-efficient, and in many cases, offsets the potential environmental impact of predicting a new item by recirculating an existing item in the productive economy. Despite this fact, the connection between material consumption and carbon emissions remains relatively unrecognised in Australia.
Charitable Recycling Australia, a collective network of 3,000 charities and social enterprise retailers which works to get re-useable household items from ending up in landfills, stepped up to address this gap by creating an online Reuse Impact Calculator Tool. The initiative aimed at providing a simple online tool for individuals to measure the carbon impacts of reuse. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) ’ Community Innovation Program levelled up technology expertise to transform this tool to a workable real-life model.