A major priority for Governments is to develop more efficient recycling technologies as to increase sustainability. However, providing innovative recycling solutions is good for more than just the environment.
Waste is only waste because we do not value it. When considering the future of recycling, evaluating the worth of products at all stages of the chain — from production through consumption to disposal — is crucial to ensuring that we take stock of our use of resources.
Popularity has risen around the concept of the circular economy, and small steps are now being taken to put it into practice. The future of recycling is set for a surge in circular products as manufacturers and recycling initiatives work together and reach a critical mass.
Once achieved, circular products will become the norm, with 100% closed-loop recycling systems ensuring that recycled materials are used within products that are of equal value to the original.
Additionally, with the help of both new and existing technology, recycling centres will be able to more easily sort and separate items.
Consumers must become the driving force behind wholesale changes in both the types of materials we choose to consume and the way in which we use them. The popular move away from single-use water bottles is a good example of how people can make changes further upstream.
Over the next decade, as sustainability education increasingly becomes part of the fabric of society, consumers will demand clearer labelling on products, alternative packaging solutions, simple and cost-efficient repairs on devices and equipment, and a wholesale move away from plastics across all industries.
An educated public, that also efficiently separates items, will help recycling waste streams become less contaminated and provide more opportunities to be recycled.
The future of the recycling industry lies very much in a reduction of the number of different materials being processed together and an increase in the purity of raw materials produced by the recycling process. Standardization of materials across products is one element of this future vision, underpinned by conservation rather than consumption, effectively reducing and redefining what we call waste.
Other efficiencies in collection and distribution are also likely to bring the cost of recycling down and further boost the industry over the next decade.
Are you a business looking for waste removal services in your area? Speak to the GPT Waste team on 0844 854 5000.