Consumer goods are typically fast moving through the economy, meaning they are produced and disposed of in a short space of time. This has led to consumer goods being responsible for significant quantities of avoidable waste generation, often consisting of materials that cannot easily be recycled, and often end up polluting the environment.
A local government can consume less goods in the first place, which allows the waste generated to be reduced significantly, and reduces environmental pollution. Many consumer goods can be made more durable, allowing for multiuse rather than continual procurement of new goods. One such example of ths is reusing uniforms used in some public sectors (e.g. police service), rather than unnecessarily procuring a new set for every new employee.
Local governments can reduce their consumption of consumer goods in their city by creating awareness campaigns about overconsumption and the idea of ‘doing more with less’, where appropriate. Local governments can also directly reduce their consumption by pursuing a green public procurement policy. This is a process in which a local government prioritises the procurement of goods and services with the lowest environmental impact. In many cases this yields the procurement of less goods by purchasing more durable alternatives or reusing existing resources.