Category: global waste

Visualizing the Global Landfill Crisis



The following content is sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies

Global Landfill Crisis

Visualizing the Global Landfill Crisis

In a world that generates 2 billion tonnes of waste every year, landfill management has become a global concern.

Reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling materials have become essential in minimizing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The above infographic from Northstar Clean Technologies highlights how waste management has become a multibillion-dollar industry opportunity.

The Largest Contributor to Global Waste

The world produces enough solid waste to fill over 800,000 Olympic sized swimming pools every year. Waste generated per person averages 0.74 kilograms per day.

Below, we show the regions that generate the most waste, measured in millions of tonnes. Asia, Europe, and North America are the top waste generators, respectively.

Region2016 Waste Generation (Millions of tonnes)2030 Waste Generation (P)2050 Waste Generation (P)
Middle East and North Africa129177255
Sub-Saharan Africa174269516
Latin American and Caribbean231290369
North America289342396
South Asia334466661
Europe and Central Asia392440490
East Asia and Pacific468602714

The U.S. ranks number one in per-capita waste by country, producing 12% of the world’s trash despite only accounting for 4% of its population.

On average, a U.S. resident produces over three times as much waste as a Chinese resident and seven times more than a person living in Ethiopia.

Approximately half of the 230 million tonnes of yearly waste in the U.S. will meet its final resting (Read more...)

Visualized: The Circular Economy 101



The following content is sponsored by MSCI

Visualized: The Circular Economy 101

The principles of a circular economy trace back as far as 3,000 years.

Archeological evidence shows that Romans recycled trash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Roughly 200 years later, people recycled glass during the Byzantine Empire. Fast-forward to today and circular economy strategies are projected to generate trillions in economic output by 2030.

But how does the circular economy work? This infographic from MSCI provides a guide to circular economies—from circular business models to circular technologies.

No Time to Waste

First, let’s start at the root of the problem, our current consumption trends:

  • Raw Materials: Global extraction is projected to double by 2060.
  • Textiles: 85% of clothing and textiles are discarded.
  • Waste: Global waste is projected to rise 70% by 2050.
  • Water: 80% of global wastewater is untreated or reused before returning back to the ecosystem.

To change consumption patterns and reduce waste, consumer behaviors, business models, and policies will need to change. But the big question is how?

To answer this problem, the concept of a circular economy is gaining traction.

What Is a Circular Economy?

A circular economy is centered on the idea of resources being kept as long as possible within the economic system, where materials that have undergone an entire lifecycle, from production to end stage, are returned to the economic system as an input.

Above all else, a circular economy is based on sustainable life cycles.

Circular Economy Growth

(Read more...)