Planet junk: A journey through discards


Manufacturing — the start of the expanding consumer pipeline — is environmentally damaging enough. The United Nations estimates that the fashion industry, for instance, is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and 20% of waste water. Some 85% of textiles then end up in landfill, or are burnt. Our homes are filled with other products — furniture, kitchenware, shoes, d├ęcor, appliances — that meet similarly ignominious and unsustainable ends. But a significant portion of global consumer goods finds second and third lives through the reuse economy. It is the costs and benefits of this afterlife of stuff that author, Adam Minter examines with a sense of wonder and cautious optimism in his second book titled, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale published by Bloomsbury (2019).

Minter succeeds brilliantly in using the stories of those working in the world of waste to hold up a mirror to our out-of-control buying habits and incite us to join the reuse, repair and recycle economy.

Planet junk: A journey through discards

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