3 Bits – Seeking Circularity

3 Bits periodically provides three bite-sized items of interest about climate news.

1. Got Metal?

As clean energy demand increases and electrification expands internationally, virgin metals and electronic waste (e-waste) are increasingly vital to sustain this shift. The UN recently released The Global E-Waste Monitor 2024 to quantify the opportunity. It notes that 22.3% of e-waste was formally collected and recycled in 2022, and that the demand for what is bound for the landfill only increases. We encourage you to inquire locally about e-waste recycling opportunities and take advantage of any services that exist. For folks based near Austin, Denver, or Seattle, see the provided hyperlinks for local resources. (Source: Grist)

2. Alaskan Wilderness Win

The importance of metal recycling is further underscored by the Biden administration’s recent decision to deny a permit for an industrial road in northern Alaska, blocking fossil fuel and copper mining operations by doing so. While seen as a loss for local industry and job creation, this is recognized as an important expansion of protections for Alaskan wilderness, biodiversity, native sovereignty and climate justice. This decision stands in contrast to the Biden administration’s approval of the Willow project last year, and is an encouraging example of environmental protection over extraction. (Source: New York Times)

3. Circular Fashion Gets Funding

As the US divests from China and seeks to reshore production domestically, a surprising and exciting opportunity has emerged; circular fashion. The recently introduced Americas Act includes over $14B in incentives for circularity in fashion, including, but not limited to: a 15% income tax exclusion, $10B in loan programs, and $3B in grants. For an industry that generates over 92M tons of waste annually, this investment indicates a federal focus on gaining ground on waste management and circularity by supporting those in resale, repair, rental, and recycling. (Source: Vogue Business)