Efficient waste management should not take a backseat post COVID-19

COVID-19 has given us a glimpse of a cleaner and greener world. Even in the most polluted cities, people have witnessed the possibilities of clear blue skies, cleaner water, and fresher air. To make this temporary respite permanent, everyone has a role to play. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Governments and businesses need to maintain focus on their sustainability goals and pump investment into solutions and actions where they matter the most.

Plans for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must also help build environmental sustainability to help nations work towards a “greener new normal”.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unhealthy environments –due to contaminated air, soil, and water– cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths on a yearly basis. A major source of these pollutants is the global waste crisis which threatens millions of businesses and livelihoods, especially in developing economies.

An effective way to tackle the waste crisis is through the adoption of the circular economy, a system in which resources are used to their maximum extent before being disposed of.

The circular economy minimizes waste by reusing, repurposing, remanufacturing, and recycling used products. This allows consumed resources to re-enter the production chain. Through better management of resources and reducing waste, over-extraction and over-production of goods can be prevented

Circular practices are already in place to deal with supply-chain disruptions. For example, businesses are repurposing scrap fabrics to manufacture personal protective equipment, and the food and beverage sector is working with other organizations to redirect surplus food to the needy.

Similarly, innovations continue to support current shortages and future green transitions. For instance, technology is being used to decontaminate N95 masks and responsible packaging innovations continue to provide for sustainable options during home delivery spikes.

Therefore, it is important for economies to recognize the threats of the waste crisis and develop recovery packages that can deliver on both environmental and economic goals.

Ensuring that waste is reduced and properly disposed of should continue to be at the forefront of our thoughts. The correct waste management practices will not only help businesses achieve their sustainability goals but also enable them to make cost savings.

Plastic has been a part of the food and drink industry for almost a century; it can be found in every stage of the process from manufacturing to retailing. The 3 Rs are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and the best step a company can take is to reduce the amount of plastic used.

We recommend that your first consideration should be to prevent excess packaging from coming into the business in the first place then the obvious next step is to look at what you are sending out.

If your company is able to provide an opportunity to reduce an individual’s waste output, without making huge changes to their lives, there is an opportunity to drive more sales, get in front of planned changes to legislation and also make necessary environmental changes.

GPT Waste Management is the largest independent provider of waste management solutions across the UK, providing sustainable waste services for its clients.

Using the most up to date methods of recycling and recovery, GPT can process waste collected from all industries to ensure the most appropriate technical, environmental, and economic method of treatment is applied.

If you are looking to review your waste management approach, get in touch for a free waste assessment.


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