Trashing Stuff

Waste is under-rated everywhere. Demand for second hand stuff mostly fell as the price of newly made goods fall with the rise of mass manufacturing. Efficient logistics moving manufactured goods helped to fuel the purchase of brand new items. Recycled goods are being seen as second class or for those underprivileged.

There is a clear case to using second-hand goods besides savings and economics. The reason is that the cost of waste and disposal has not exactly been priced into the goods because cities everywhere tends to put a blanket price on things like waste. There are arbitrage opportunities where this is the case and have been used by many different businesses or informal organisations around the world. But they are hard to scale, tend to be very specific around local context and culture.

Which is why growing a culture of acceptance for recycled products and second hand goods is going to be part of the drive for sustainability. It is not just about packaging but the goods themselves. I really think highly of marketplaces like Carousell which helps to match the needs and supply for such second-hand market. Curators of communities need to add this dimension of facilitating exchanges across members as a vital additional pillar to communities: coworking spaces, residential committees, management committees of buildings. Local community based marketplaces have the highest chance of spreading the culture and creating quick wins.