As population continues to grow and resources become scarce, the current “take make dispose” system is not sustainable anymore. As a result, concepts such as Circular Economy are becoming more popular. Companies that are looking to continue to be profitable in a world with scarce resources should start focusing more on redesigning their business model to reuse as much materials as possible.
Some important facts that are grabbing the attention of big companies are the following:
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- consumer goods industry could save $700 billion a year if they start taking action in this matter, by for example introducing anaerobic digestion of household waste.
- in our current linear economy – 80% of the consumed products and materials will end up in incinerators, landfills or wastewater.
- in the short term even without the application of bio-based products or the full redesign of supply chains, the value of through a circular economy, can be recovered could be increased to 50%
Some examples of how this can be achieved are:
• In the U.K, collecting household food waste to generate biogas and return nutrients to agricultural soils could provide an income stream of $1.5 billion
• In Brazil, beer manufacturers can increase profits by selling their spent grains to farmers in the fish farming and livestock sectors
• Packaging. In the UK, beer manufacturers could achieve a cost reduction of 20% by shifting from disposable to reusable glass beer bottles.
Do you have any other examples of how companies in your country can reuse waste to improve their bottom line?