The next time anybody accuses you of being wasteful, pull this one out of the bag (and then change your ways). According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), use of ‘stuff’ has fallen by around a third in just over a decade, with the average Briton using 10.3 tonnes of material in 2013, as opposed to 15 tonnes in 2001.
The organisation believes the UK has hit ‘peak stuff’ already, though we’ve seen a small step backwards since 2011, when the average Brit burned through 10.1 tonnes of stuff. They were the best of times.
This is clearly mainly down to rapidly-improving technology, which has helped us digitalise things like work documents, photographs, movies, calendars, diaries and news. For instance, British people are believed to have bought 126 million CDs back in 2000, and this figure reportedly dropped to 54 million last year. 54 million? Who the hell's still buying those things?
However, recycling is also playing a major role, as is the use of less and less metal in home appliances. The ONS also says that we're seeing a gradual shift away from primary industry jobs, such as manufacturing, and towards tertiary industry roles, like finance. [DailyMail]