A few years ago, the big business catch phrase was the sharing economy. Airbnb and Uber were built on the idea of a shared economy. Millennials and Gen Z alike proved that it’s no longer as important as it once was to own something – simply having access to it is enough.
Now we’re seeing the next big shift. Welcome to the circular economy, a move away from the linear economy that Rodney Peter, Head of ITAM & ITAD: AST Recycling, explains in this fascinating episode of the Small Business Showcase.
We’re all familiar with the linear economy: a product is designed and built, used for the duration of its life and then destroyed.
Here’s the problem – whether products are ending up in landfills or being destroyed (particularly technology products, as Rodney highlights), they are doing damage to the environment.
Governments around the world are aware of this, and South Africa is no exception. Did you know that it’s actually illegal to dispose of electronic waste in a normal bin in South Africa?
Enter AST, a technology recycling and refurbishment business that aims to responsibly handle end-of-life technology – or get it back into use and adding to the circular economy!
Africa produces 56 000 tons of electronic waste annually – and only between 8% to 12% of that is formally recycled. The rest is dumped or burnt and taken apart in such a way that leaches toxins into the ground, water and air.
AST’s solution is perfect. Not only has the company partnered with Leroy Merlin to set up boxes that consumers like you and me can frictionlessly drop off their electronics, but through their expertise, the business is able to support the circular economy, protect the environment and employ local South Africans.
It’s a great story! Are you ready to be part of the solution?
To support AST:
Watch the full video here: