As our oceans’ health continues to suffer from our uncurbed consumerism, it’s time entrepreneurs joined the efforts to protect nature.
Have you ever thought of how you could create a sustainable brand that could earn you massive income while keeping the environment safe?
The quantity of human waste is rising fast and will continue to rise without transformational changes in the ways we use and reuse materials.
In fact, a study predicts that global solid waste generation is on pace to increase by 70 percent in 2025, rising from more than 3.5 million tons per day in 2010 to more than 6 million tons per day in 2025. The waste from cities alone is already enough to fill a line of trash trucks 5,000 kilometers long every day.
Meanwhile, the global cost of dealing with all that trash is rising too: from $205 billion a year in 2010 to $375 billion a year by 2025, with the sharpest cost increase in developing countries.
This stunning amount of waste is partly because 99 percent of the items we buy are trashed within six months.
You can make use of this golden opportunity, getting value from what others count as valueless.
Below are six ideas on how you can create a sustainable brand from waste and unwanted materials.
1. Waste collection services
An obvious way to capitalize on the vast amounts of waste and unwanted materials is to provide a waste collection service.
In the past, people were fond of emptying their garbage at dumpsites, which often became environmental hazards. Today, however, due to sanitation regulations and governmental bans on illegal dumping of refuse, employing the service of a waste collection agent has been the only way for consumers to get rid of their garbage. The waste collected by the waste collection agents can be dumped at government-approved landfills or transferred to waste processing facilities.
Many individuals, households, municipalities, and businesses are very willing to pay waste collection services to help them get rid of their garbage.
2. Plastic waste
Do you know that globally we buy a million plastic bottles per minute? Moreover, the number is set to jump another 20 percent by 2021.
Further, new figures obtained by the Guardian reveal that more than half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold annually by the end of the decade. This is equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being sold every second.
The sad news is that most of the plastic waste will end up in the landfill or in the ocean. According to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
The good news is most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from highly recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET). You can identify such containers by a triangle-shaped symbol and the number 1 stamped or molded into their bottoms or sides.
For further inspiration on how to create a sustainable brand from plastic waste, consider the startup Awake. The company uses recycled plastic to create quality fabrics for the straps of their stylish wristwatches.
3. Aluminum cans and scrap metal recycling
Aluminum is arguably one of the most common waste products in the world today.
According to The Aluminium Association, “Americans earn nearly one billion dollars annually from recycling aluminum cans.” The average pay for aluminum nationally is about 0.50USD per pound, and it takes just 34 cans to make up a pound.
This aluminum can be melted to produce new products to be sold. Also, this scrap metal can be recycled into fine metals or stainless steel and be used to create better products.
4. Recycling of old and damaged textiles
Another awesome idea on how to create a sustainable brand from waste products and unwanted materials is the rebranding of old and damaged textiles.
Textiles are particularly dangerous to animals in the ocean. They can restrict the animals’ free movements in the water or even choke them.
Waste materials from textiles, such as old clothes, can be recycled into other products such as mattresses, caps, doormats, children wears, and many other products.
5. Organic waste processing
Another sustainable brand that can be created from waste and unwanted materials is organic fertilizers.
A large portion of waste collected from restaurants, bars, hotels, and households, such as kitchen waste and leftover foods, is organic and biodegradable. That means it can be broken down relatively quickly and safely by microorganisms.
Organic waste can also be converted into a stable product — compost — under controlled conditions.
There’s also a very high demand for organic fertilizers today! You can launch your compost business to meet this ever-increasing need. For a step-by-step guide on how you can create a sustainable brand through the use of organic waste, read this very detailed resource.
6. Paper waste recycling
Almost everything we purchase today is wrapped or packed in a paper-like material. This makes paper the most common type of waste collected today.
Paper waste can be recycled to create carton boxes, paper bags, fancy cardboard papers, and many other products.
One of the attributes that set successful people apart from the rest is successful people see value in what other people regard as valueless.
The key fact about the waste materials described above is they’re readily available. Waste is everywhere; it only requires a bit of creativity and hard work to create a sustainable brand out of it.
You can also join the effort to help save the environment by creating a sustainable brand from unwanted and readily available materials while making a profit.