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Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - The Magic Washing Machine

The Challenge

Environmental degradation and resource depletion threaten the sustainability of economic growth in the developed world, and build enormous pressures in the developing world as it strives to match th ...

Environmental degradation and resource depletion threaten the sustainability of economic growth in the developed world, and build enormous pressures in the developing world as it strives to match the West’s prodigal lifestyle. Both issues can be addressed by the Circular Economy (CE): if we stop generating waste, and re-use and recycle resources, we avoid environmental degradation and stave off resource depletion. But, the financial realities of (mostly) capitalist societies make so many recycling initiatives unattractive.

An informative (and entertaining) look at the impact of the growing middle-class population on the world's resources and energy demand, pivoting around the washing machine as a fundamental invention that has changed lives, and stands for a symbol of what moving into the middle class means.