Perspectives

waste:a growing problem

2017 November 03

waste is a hot topic today, businesses and consumers are becoming more aware of the global issues facing our planet created by waste and how we process it

Waste is defined as, “any substance or object which the holder discards or intends to, or is required to discard” (Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC). 

As populations have become more industrialised and concentrated in cities, consumption has grown and the very technology and systems that developed to support this growth were not designed with any consideration for disposal of the waste by-products.

Plastic in particular is cited as a polluter and certainly the proliferation of plastic films, coatings and microbeads make it particularly difficult to collect, separate and process used plastic.  Too often plastic finds its way into the water systems and ends up in the ocean.  In the UK despite recycling 64% of all packaging waste only 32% of plastic packaging waste (1.5Million tonnes) is currently recycled[1] and global figures are even lower with only 14% of plastic packaging recycled, with the remainder, worth $80-120 billion, lost as waste[2]

[1] Ecoveritas 2017

[2] The Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2017

/contentassets/2ea7c4de8219449cb9e7ddb422c4f29b/waste_blog.jpg

Quote from Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2017

Headlines like these grab world attention and the UN is leading an awareness campaign and lobbying for international action via the #cleanseas initiative. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is galvanising action at national level, campaigning for government action and business involvement; a 2017 initiative includes a global design competition searching for sustainable solutions. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, together with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, has recently announced the launch of the $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize. The Prize which is funded by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative, calls for innovators, designers, scientist and entrepreneurs to help create packaging that keeps plastics out of the ocean.

Download the full report here to understand how to establish a reputation for environmental stewardship

Waste: Report 2017

File size: 2.41 MB


recent articles