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Changing the 'scripts' around services

The script of a service or practice provides its meaning and rationale. The 19th century introduced many new scripts around health and hygiene. The 20th century re-wrote the scripts about income inequality and welfare. Many of the public service scripts we have inherited are now being re-assessed. One example is waste disposal. In the past it has been seen as a problem of public health. Now it has been re-scripted as a resource. Instead of waste disposal being the end point of a product’s linear progress from cradle to grave, the new script talks of a circular process of cradle to cradle. Scrap paper is returned to be reworked at paper mills. Drink cans are returned to the smelter. End of life cars and electronic goods are disassembled and their components and materials reworked as part of a closed loop. Thinking in terms of loops and zero waste, has reshaped systems for handling household and business waste, and led to new regulations, directives, business models and public attitudes.