Waste can generate crores in revenue through the recycling mode

By Madhur Rathi, CEO and Co-founder at Econiture, furniture made from 100% recycled plastic

Over time, waste has come to mean several things. Today, waste is viewed as an asset or resource that has the potential to provide billions of dollars in revenue rather than waste or abandoned stuff. Reducing garbage quantities and reliance on fossil fuels are just two aspects of the issue. Across the world, nations have been actively searching for the finest waste-utilisation methods. Sustainable waste management, or the proper handling of trash, is crucial for reasons related to the economy and the environment as well as sanitation. This includes the potential role it can play in generating energy in developing nations like India. In order to increase waste-based revenues in the form of energy, fuels, heat, recyclables, value-added goods, and chemicals, as well as additional employment and commercial prospects, many industrialized countries have implemented integrated waste management system methods. 

Waste management in India can potentially grow to be a $15 billion business, according to estimates. About 25% of India’s total trash production consists of recyclable dry waste components. This recyclable garbage can be utilised as a source of raw materials after being improperly collected and deposited into landfills. It may be a very profitable method of earning income if appropriately classified and processed further. Additionally, India has the fifth-largest economy in the world, according to the government of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate change. With an average yearly growth rate of 4%, the nation produces about 62 million tonnes of garbage. Additionally, it was discovered that India presently produces 70 million metric tonnes of municipal solid trash. Only 20% of it is recycled, and the rest ends up in landfills and the ocean, harming people, marine life, and the environment. This demands a solid waste management system in place.

The Un-Plastic Collective (UPC) study estimates that India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic garbage annually, 40% of which is not collected. Plastics and electronics are two major contributors to trash creation in India, which produces roughly two million tonnes (MT) of e-waste yearly. However, coupled with solid trash, these waste-producing components have a significant potential to be capitalized into high revenue-generating channels. Similar to that, India imported paper waste and paper pulp worth 81 billion in 2020. However, only 20% of paper trash is collected, separated, and recycled; the remaining 80% ends up in landfills. Glass and metal scrap fall under the same category.

It is time for us to change our attention to how waste creation can be used more effectively. The goal of every sector is to increase profit margins. Either the selling price should be increased or the production cost should be reduced in order to achieve this. Many sectors are concentrating on cost reduction since it is challenging to boost prices owing to intense competition. A significant portion of the overall cost of production is related to the price of the raw materials needed to produce goods. The cost of production may be drastically decreased if minimized. Here’s where recyclable garbage, sometimes referred to as “scrap” or “reprocessed material,” enters the picture. As processed trash is less expensive than fresh raw materials, if it is used proportionately, quality may be preserved while expenses are decreased. As a result, there is an increasing need for recycled garbage that has been treated.

However, because the trash cannot be used by recyclers directly, there is a significant issue with the waste treatment process. The entire process depends on the segregation of waste, which is likewise seen as a significant restriction. It needs to be appropriately separated and processed in compliance with recycler specifications.

Recycled goods are becoming incteapopular as companies search for alternate and cost-effective production methods. India has the necessary infrastructure in place, but resources are not being channeled properly. Although many startups have entered the industry, there is still untapped potential there. If we are able to make use of these resources, it will be possible to create untold amounts of income, and job possibilities, and reduce our carbon impact. In addition to 17 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100 kWh of energy, 4 cubic meters of landfill space, and 31,780 liters of water, a tonne of recycled paper is said to conserve these other resources as well.

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