Closed loop waste management models to reap ethical and resource benefits

Article posted on 11.03.2019

Waste management

Sustainability, waste reduction and regulatory compliance are three areas which organisations throughout Europe are striving to achieve within their business models. However, the less than rosy reality is that many are operating on a linear – ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ – basis. Unfortunately, this contrasts with the European Commission’s legislative waste proposals, outlined in its Circular Economy Package. Our sales manager, Huw Crampton, spoke to ENDS Europe about importance of businesses creating a closed loop waste management model, to reap ethical and resource benefits. If you missed the original write-up, catch up here.

For the European SME landscape, enforcing a system of reuse as opposed to one of waste is the ultimate goal, however there is an elephant in the room that few people are addressing – the fact that there’s minimal opportunity for smaller businesses to champion a truly closed loop approach. This is often due to internal financial implications, a lack of economic incentives and governmental waste policy limitations.

For the main part, revenue is the primary corporate driver for organisations’ decision-making, and as it is larger-scale firms that generate a higher volume of waste, there is naturally a stronger and more rational business case for their circular thinking. However, this shouldn’t mean that because SMEs generate less waste and pay lower disposal fees, that they should become complacent and shy away from the upfront thinking and costs involved with employing a bespoke closed loop solution – on the contrary.

It’s easy to think that the larger the company, the greater the waste management headache, but in reality, the size or scale of a company is irrelevant. Each one has its own part to play in developing a successful and sustainable regenerative loop, on a national if not global scale.

Businesses should therefore strive to find another use for their waste, not only to eradicate disposal costs but crucially to improve their resource security. There’s no doubting that any cyclical strategy would aid the support and restoration of the Earth’s natural resources, but in today’s growing eco-conscious society, it also helps in positioning brands as environmental pioneers who take their corporate social responsibility seriously.

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