How The Recycling Revolution is Unfolding Before Our Eyes

When an employee makes the conscious decision to recycle that aluminum can, plastic bottle, or piece of paper – it feels nice. They’re happy to do their part for the greater good of planet Earth.

But when you start thinking on a global scale, do those same cans, bottles or pieces of paper really make a difference? And do they really get re-used? 

While that is the idea in principle, it’s not always the case. In the recycling industry’s current state, the biggest manufacturers in the world have a serious problem on their hands: recycled goods are going to waste

Why is this? 

China is a notoriously large player in most global economic industries. They were the catalyst for America’s recycling rate tripling during the 1990s and early 2000s. Now that China’s growth has slowed, so has its demand for raw materials.

Another reason the recycling industry is struggling as a whole is due to the recent fall in oil prices. Since oil is used to make plastic, the drop in prices has made it cheaper to manufacture new plastic than to recycle used plastic.

How are facilities management companies aiming to reverse the trend in recycled products?

Now, organizations such as the Closed Loop Fund and the International Solid Waste Association are searching for ways to “close the loop.” They want to ensure resources are used, reused and recycled more consistently by businesses and consumers. 

The Closed Loop Fund has partnered with some of the biggest brands in America, such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, PepsiCo and Colgate-Palmolive. They’ve teamed up to help fight the industry’s battle by building recycling infrastructure. Armed with the right technology and players who experience and understand the effects of high waste removal costs, there have already been signs of improvement.

How does the waste management process work with recycling?

Companies’ leadership recognizes the bottom-line benefit of getting large volumes of recycled material into the supply chain. Although the large quantities didn’t go directly back to them, companies were still making huge profits by selling their recycled goods. However, with the cost of waste disposal, that is no longer the case. These same companies are major buyers of material. If there is a larger supply, they generally get access to it. 

As companies move forward in search of waste cost solutions it’s important to keep an eye on the recycling industry and any potential waste cost reduction services. It’s especially important if oil prices stay low and waste costs remain high.  The world searches for solutions to utilize raw materials already being recycled, and there are plenty of options out there. It’s all about finding what works best for your company.

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