Over the last decade, there has been more environmentally focused legislation and regulations put in place than ever before. This has paved the way for cardboard bicycles, zero emission cars and homes and even 100% renewable companies.
As we head toward 2020, these new laws are coming into effect with regard to waste management and the ethical disposal of rubbish. Now although this is great for the environment, there are still a number of businesses and general citizens that don’t understand their requirements when it comes to waste management. We’ve listed below a few waste management trends you should be aware of.
Increased Corporate Responsibility
A major focus for consumers where businesses are concerned is corporate responsibility with regard to the environment. Now, although not particularly governed by regulation, a company’s enviro-responsibility is certainly a space to keep on top of to ensure a positive image for the company.
Consumers make it their mission to ensure companies aren’t ‘burning tyres’ for example, and check corporate websites for environmental commitments. These commitments should also include the correct disposal of waste. Recycling all metals, plastics and other items is essential to maintain a good image, and the correct disposal of chemicals and other non-recyclables is even more important.
Waste management and distribution companies like 1300 rubbish are experienced in safe and legal rubbish removal in a range of areas. They work around the clock to service both commercial and residential addresses and ensure the correct disposal of all waste. This means that although a business hasn’t personally developed a waste disposal unit, they are still able to meet all environmental standards.
Bans on Plastic
There’s no misconception about plastic being horrible for the environment, both during its manufacture as well as after improper disposal. This is an area where local and federal governments are stepping in and getting involved in the progressive ban on both plastic bags and other packaging materials.
In Australia, single-use plastic bags are being phased out in almost every state by the end of 2018, except NSW. This pushes the industry to use multi-use and paper bags for grocery shopping and other various packaging methods.
A number of Australian and global businesses are setting goals for themselves to stop all plastics entering landfill and rather recycling all plastic packaging and products. This is mainly down to stringent planning and frameworks set in place to keep waste management well in check, as well as outsourcing their plastic waste to recycling companies.
New E-waste Uses
One of the worst byproducts of the digits revolution is the never-ending generation of e-waste. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was such a crisis with electronic waste that governments had no other option but to intervene. Fast forward to today though, and even with 48 million tonnes of e-waste produced in 2016, there is far less reaching landfill.
Some of the worlds largest companies, namely Apple, are committed to a complete production loop and this business model is becoming increasingly popular. This means that all materials produced and sold to consumers are returned at the end of their lifecycles to be transformed into the next generation of products.
Although not all companies are large enough to feature closed-loop production lines, the latest trends in e-waste removal include selling and donating e-waste to recycling companies where all precious materials are extracted before the leftover devices are moved to landfill or incinerated.
As the developed world begins to turn its back on traditional plastics, a new type has begun to appear and over the past few years, it has really begun to catch on. Biodegradable plastics are said to be the future of packaging and products materials, and a 19% jump in the market in just a year shows it has real potential for businesses.
Some businesses are even choosing to switch entirely to plant-based biodegradable plastics to better meet their environmental and waste management targets. This is down to the fact that these plastics are able to be recycled and disassembled a lot easier than traditional plastic. Though they aren’t able to biodegrade in nature, so waste management companies are often still required to collect the biodegradable plastics and transfer them to recycling and processing facilities.
Energy from Organic Waste
Finally, a major trend emerging from the US and Europe is the use of organic materials for electricity. Rather than tossing foods and other biodegradable materials into landfill, using them as a cleaner source of electricity is certainly one of the more promising uses for any type of waste.
One of the first power plants using this method is the Sacramento BioDigestor. It basically works by taking large amounts of food and converting it into near-zero-emission energy. This means there is an uptick in demand for organic waste from businesses and households to make the power plant work.
As the technology becomes more efficient and cities across the globe begin utilising this as a sustainable and backup source of electricity, this opens a number of opportunities for businesses to safely and environmentally friendly dispose of their organic waste.