How did you spend your Global Recycling Day so far? We take this unique day as an opportunity for a special edition of AcoZunday. This edition carries the subtitle „Recycling for Profit“. This is not only a message we believe in, but also the title to an article written by David Biddle for the Harvard Business Review1.
Before telling you, when it was published we want to take a few quotes from the article to discuss briefly. „[…] recycling is not just a matter of recovering recyclable material; it’s a total economic system“. AMEN! This is the key to understanding the true value recycling has on an economic and societal level. Taking the true environmental costs into consideration when using virgin materials generates commercial incentives and relieves pressure from strained natural ecosystems struggling to provide for the ever increasing need for input material.
„[…] policymakers are still trying to assess what’s wrong with recycling programs, large corporations and small entrepreneurs alike are in the best position to take the lead“. So true! We’ve seen so many corporations (from big to small) trying to downplay their responsibility when it comes to plastic pollution and plastic waste generation that we struggle to keep faith that someone other than „we the people“ will step up to the challenge. But we believe that we can be hopeful. The tide as turned on inactive, green washing companies and so many small companies and start-ups are making progress (Some of them were highlighted in AcoZunday #7).
„The Environmental Protection Agency’s goal for the United States is to divert 40% of waste by the year 2000“. Yes, you were right. David’s article is old, almost 30 years old, published in 1993 and still holds so many conclusions that we even more relevant today. Sadly, according to their own records, the goal set out by the EPA has never been reached until 20182. It was never even close!
Today is our holiday and we want to end our first special edition of AcoZunday on a high note. Recycling has slowly taken over the world as we know it. We’ve come a long way since 1993. New, improved and scalable technologies help us to build profitable business models which will accelerate the increase in recycling rates. Innovative companies are taking market shares and put pressure on dinosaurs unwilling to accept the new reality they are confronted with.
Recycling will prevail, it is the right answer to a complicated question. Let’s invest and collaborate successfully!