Plastic waste devastates the planet and wildlife, emphasizing the need to recycle. Recycling is key to reducing greenhouse gasses and preventing pollution, and it costs less than regular waste collection. Businesses generate a lot of waste, including paper, packaging, plastic bottles, scrap metal, and even hazardous waste like paints or solvents. Unfortunately, this is incredibly harmful to the planet. Business owners must take responsibility for how they contribute to the world and make a difference by handling their waste as effectively as possible.
There are different ways to do so, and one of them is recycling.
Most materials, including plastic and paper, have incredible recycling value, so they aren’t worthless once they fulfill their original purpose. Recycling, along with reducing and reusing, is a golden rule of sustainability, and it doesn’t only benefit the environment and humans by helping them stay healthy.
Why should businesses recycle?
The first and foremost reason businesses should recycle is to protect the environment. However, by taking care of the planet, you’ll reap many business benefits, such as:
- Higher employee retention: millennials care about recycling more than previous generations, and they are more likely to work for a company that prioritizes sustainability;
- Cost savings: through recycling programs, businesses can save money, which they can use to grow their business further;
- Community building: recycling helps create a sense of community, making employees feel like they are positively impacting the world.
Top recycling trends that can impact your business
While many believe so, plastic isn’t really the bad guy. The material is, in fact, lightweight and durable, and ever since it was first developed, plastic has had valuable applications in sectors like healthcare. The problem with plastic is that it ends up in the environment, damaging it. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this: chemical recycling, which separates the plastic waste into its constituent molecular parts, affecting the chemistry of its polymers. This allows them to be reconstituted into their original raw materials, which can be transformed into new polymers. Chemical recycling makes it possible to recycle plastic waste that is otherwise difficult to recycle, such as contaminated and mixed-polymer waste streams. Furthermore, the process produces plastics with a similar quality to virgin materials, which can be reused in valuable applications like food packaging.
Green waste management
Food waste accounts for nearly 8% of anthropogenic GHG emissions, so it’s essential to look for ways to remove it from landfills and, thus, recover high-value materials. Green waste management is an excellent solution because it enables startups to transform organic waste into stabilized compounds, CO2, and methane. In compost facilities, green waste is converted into fertilizers or biofuel. Some startups collect organic waste through electric bikes and then compost it naturally; by doing this, food businesses can embrace sustainability and make their waste management much more efficient.
Recycling machines and robots
If you run a business, you already know how crucial it is to have the right equipment to help you get a project done quickly and efficiently. This is also true for your recycling process. Suppose your venture generates significant volumes of waste; balers or compactors are a great solution to manage the materials. Before choosing a machine for your business, you must assess your business needs and the materials generated in your operations. While a baler is ideal for recyclable materials, a compactor is suitable if you must dispose of a significant amount of garbage. No matter the size of your business, you can get a baler machine or a recycling compactor from a reputable supplier like Mil-tek to improve your waste management.
Or, if you want to take your business operations to the next level, you can rely on recycling robots to sort recycling materials. These robots can boost the picking speed, reduce errors, and enhance picking efficiency.
AI is changing people’s lives, impacting many industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and finance. So, unsurprisingly, this technology can also play a role in protecting the planet. But how can AI do that? Firstly, it enables plastic recycling facilities to automate everything from material analysis and sorting to picking. Moreover, it boosts worker safety by decreasing human exposure to dangerous waste streams. These two aspects show that integrating artificial intelligence into workflows makes a lot of sense, and businesses can do so by using computer vision and machine learning. This enables them to capture unparalleled features in mixed waste streams and, at the same time, improve quality control.
Moreover, by implementing this technology, recyclers can improve waste logistics by optimizing waste collection routes and pickup schedules. As a result, this allows them to enhance recycling performance, thus retrieving more value from waste.
Big Data & Analytics
The recycling sector uses data points that the waste management ecosystem generates via advanced analytics and big data. These revolutionary technologies enable recyclers to spot inefficiencies and simplify flow management. Moreover, they enable data processing methods like deep learning, which can be used for process automation. Analytics also power workflow digitization, driving transparency in decision-making and business operations. For example, some startups develop solutions that predict future waste trends and determine which businesses generate more waste.
The bottom line
In a world where inflation raises financial concerns, businesses constantly look for ways to reduce costs as much as possible and improve profitability. Recycling can be very effective to this end, and besides improving your company’s bottom line, it also allows you to contribute to a more sustainable future. What’s good for the planet is good for people, so businesses must implement recycling programs to reduce their negative environmental impact. Building a sustainable strategy is a great way to show that your business is taking proactive steps toward a healthier planet. As the climate crisis becomes more prominent, consumers consider the environmental credentials of a brand before engaging with it. In fact, this factor often prevents consumers from buying certain products. Therefore, adopting sustainable practices in your business is a must nowadays, so make sure to keep an eye on the recycling tech trends mentioned above.