Trading in the circular economy saved 130 million household items from landfill in past year

By Emma Lucey  September 9th, 2022

Last month, Gumtree Australia launched their Trading in the Circular Economy Report 2022. The report finds that the value of trading unwanted and unused items in Australia continues to grow, with ‘reducing and recycling’ identified as the top benefit of trading by Australians.

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Do you have unused items lying around at home? According to Gumtree’s report, 86% of Australians have unwanted and unused items that they could sell, with around 21 items per household. Trading of pre-loved items in the circular economy means existing products and materials are kept in use, reducing consumption and production of new items, therefore allowing natural systems to regenerate.

Key findings from the report:

  • The value of the circular economy is now estimated to be worth $62 billion, which marks a spike of $14 billion in the past 12 months.

  • In total, an estimated 130 million items have been kept out of landfill in the last year alone.

  • Compared to what they were doing ten years ago, over 80% of Australians say they are changing the way they consume goods, to make more environmentally friendly and conscious choices.

At the report launch, Planet Ark’s Co-CEO and Executive Director, Paul Klymenko, spoke on a panel alongside Gumtree’s Head of Insights and Market Research Lupe Prada, and qualified builder, project manager, carpenter and host of ‘The Repair Shop’, Dean Ipaviz.

“Marketplaces such as Gumtree play a critical role in both enabling sustainable trading in the present and unlocking its potential for the future,” says Paul. “More and more Australians are utilising circular trading to extend the life of items through reuse, repair, recycling and upcycling.”

Over the past year, 85% of Australians have saved items from landfill by selling them through the circular economy. Of those, 80% say they are trying to reduce their contribution to landfill by reusing, upcycling and repairing items. Dean explains upcycling of older items can give them a “newer look and feel” while extending their lifespan, and the best thing is, you can tailor each piece to suit an individual's taste. Finding good quality items that only need minor repairs is a good place to start your upcycling journey. “Start small and look for items that don’t require much technical expertise” says Dean.

Not only are there environmental benefits to trading pre-loved goods but impressive financial benefits too, with Australians now trading in the circular economy to offset the rising cost of living. The report finds that Australians can make approximately $6,964 per household from their unwanted items. That extra coin could make a real difference as Australians are expressing a growing appetite for goods and services that do not harm the planet, with 67% saying they are willing to pay more for sustainable brands and products.

Read the report in full at gumtree.com.au/circular-economy-report-2022

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Emma Lucey

Emma brings experience in digital media and communications with a background in several industries such as tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2022, Emma spent 5 years living abroad in London & Amsterdam where she developed a greater interest in the environment and sustainability. Outside of work Emma enjoys gardening, camping and crocheting.

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