Waste Not, Want Not: Industries Innovate With Trash

With urbanization and a swelling global middle class come enormous amounts of waste. Many governments and companies respond to this challenge with sustainable solutions including recycling. Organic material – food, in particular – is the largest part of household waste in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Countries are changing laws, allowing redistribution of food or flexibility on expiration dates. Other initiatives include recycled textiles as well as technologies that reuse sewage, plastic waste and industrial chemicals. The ongoing collaboration among industries, governments and multinational organizations demonstrates the power of globalization, offering hope for other initiatives to protect the environment. “The circular economy, turning trash into treasure, promises innovation and sustainability,” concludes Susan Froetschel, YaleGlobal’s managing editor. Most consumers appreciate recycling and efforts to protect the environment, but “they also expect to be treated as partners – fully informed through adequate labeling, regulatory reviews and education campaigns.” – YaleGlobal