Circular economy benefits

Compared to a ‘business as usual’ scenario, a more circular economy could deliver significant job creation and greenhouse gas reduction benefits.

It could create an additional 25,700 full time equivalent jobs:

  • 21,000 jobs by actioning material efficiency gains
  • 4,700 jobs by actioning efficient and renewable energy gains

It could reduce South Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27% or 7.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent:

  • 21% GHG reduction by actioning efficient and renewable energy gains
  • 6% GHG reduction by actioning material efficiency gains

Circular Economy Jobs in South Australia

Many types of circular economy jobs exist already, especially in economies like South Australia with well-developed recycling and waste management sectors and are investing in renewable energy.

Many of these jobs are in traditional waste management and resource recovery areas such as waste collection, recovery and recycling, reuse (repair, sales of second-hand goods) and sharing (rental and leasing) activities.

By keeping products, components and materials at their maximum utility and value this means:

  • designing – or importing – ‘smart’ products that last longer and can be reused many times
  • sharing things more and making repair the norm
  • recycling materials effectively and converting some waste materials into biofuels
  • displacing fossil fuels and derived products with bio-based materials.
  • entrepreneurs and innovation in reverse logistics, services, digital technologies will be needed to facilitate these changes

South Australia’s recycling rate of more than 80% places the State in a good position to ensure that its resources circulate more. However, there are opportunities to make the current economic model more circular.

Products that are reused or remanufactured retain much more of the value created during manufacturing, than if these were only recycled. This value, if realised, has the potential to stimulate economic development.