Life before ReCircle: Dr. Ian Davison on the recycling system of the future

Dr. Ian Davison is an orthopaedic surgeon on Australia’s NSW South Coast. Ian is a ReCircle investor who believes that closed-loop recycling is fundamentally important to the future of our life on earth.

In this video testimonial Ian tells us that ethically, we can’t afford to stand by and rely on other people to create a recycling system that works. “It has to be done”, he says.

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Interview transcript:

Closed-loop recycling has to be the most efficient way. I mean, there's no point in in open-loop recycling where you're trying to turn tins into glasses for example. The whole idea of taking a substance that has already been refined to a certain extent and turning it back into the same article obviously makes a great deal of sense in terms of efficiency – and the whole thing about waste management is efficiency.

I think it's so fundamental, I can't believe that it's not out there amongst everyone. I think it's about as important as global warming and nuclear rearmament. The whole idea of efficiently dealing with waste is what we have to do or else the planet is just going to be a tip.

I think one day, one day – I hope it’s soon, but it will definitely be one day – people will talk about life before this was available to them. A bit like they might talk now about the microwave or about the refrigerator. This will become an established part of what we deal with on a daily basis. It will be just one of those appliances like the microwave, like the stereo, the television, the dishwasher, whatever, that is a part of basically every family.

Well there are a few reasons, but the most fundamental reason is because I believe in it so strongly. I could afford to do it, and if I did my dough I’d still feel happy about having given it a go. I feel ethically we can't afford to stand by and rely on other people to do it because it has to be done.

There are two reasons to invest. One is because you're doing your bit for the planet. Just in terms of the fact that we all separate our waste on a daily basis means that we have some concept. You look at the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Europe. Everybody is separating waste – but for what purpose, and with what efficiency, and to what effect? It just shows that people get this they want to be a part of this. So here's an opportunity to do something positive.

All the things that we now have in our homes that when we grew up – Aldous, I think you were born in the fifties as was I – I can remember when we first got a dishwasher. I can remember when we first got a microwave. I can remember when we first got a stereo system. All of these things at the time, they were transformational, transformational in small ways. I think that the appliance that will do this in homes, when it comes, will be equally transformational and it will have similar penetration. In other words hopefully every home will have one. For investors that's got to be a positive. The difficulty is getting you across a line to the point where you've got that appliance and it’s available. I think once it's available, the uptake will be huge. That's my personal opinion.

It's ethically necessary. For the facility of the planet and of the way we live, it's fundamental. It makes sense. It's efficient. It reduces the contamination of the planet. It just appeals to my nature – which I have to tell you has got some Scottish blood and some Jewish blood – that we're not wasting waste. There's a resource. It's not waste, it's a resource that we can turn back into something positive.

I'm excited by the concept. I'm really excited to think that someone has thought of this idea. I'm encouraged that there's a possibility that it's going to be turned into something that is actually tangible. I'm impatient that it should take as long as it's taking.