About this article
Waste management is one of the most critical problems we face. Our consumer lifestyles create vast amounts of waste, and how we handle it determines our health and the impact we have on the climate. This waste mountain is only set to grow, especially as emerging markets develop a taste for Western consumerism. By 2050, the World Bank predicts that waste growth could be twice as fast as population growth1 and, if not managed correctly, will have a devasting impact on our lives and the planet.
Fortunately, plenty of companies across the world are developing new techniques to turn our unwanted rubbish into a valuable commodity. We examine how the industry is responding to forces such as the Chinese ban on waste imports and European regulation, and the multiple ways to invest across the value chain, from waste-to-energy plants to advanced recycling to disruptive collection and sorting technologies.