Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

92 Waste and pollution One of the great gifts of the circular economy is its reframing of waste as a resource that has value. Less than 20 per cent of waste is recycled each year and by 2050, worldwide municipal solid waste generation is expected to have increased by roughly 70 per cent to 3.4 billion metric tons.1 If this growth industry can be harnessed appropriately, it will reduce not only the amount going to landfill but also the negative impacts of resource use. This requires a drastic realignment of priorities. Indeed, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change urges: “Materials companies can and must become waste-treatment and wasteuse companies that see waste as a resource such that waste becomes like virgin materials in value.”2 Regional initiatives are already underway, such as the European Commission’s revised waste legislative framework, which seeks to implement more ambitious recycling rates along with simplification and harmonisation of definitions and calculation methods for recycled material. The framework also focuses on reinforced rules and new obligations on separate collection, along with minimum requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility and stronger waste prevention and waste management measures.3 INTERNAT IONAL WI SDOM Most valuable scrap materials • Non-ferrous metals – do not degrade or lose their chemical properties in the recycling process, which allows them to be recycled an infinite number of times • Iron and steel – (producing steel from ferrous scrap requires 60 per cent less energy and reduces CO2 emissions • Recovered paper and fibre – manufacturing paper and paperboard with recycled materials uses up to 68 per cent less energy than using virgin materials • Plastics – recycling one ton of plastic bottles reduces GHGs by 3,380 lbs • Rubber – the use of recycled rubber in moulded products reduces GHG emissions by 25-80 per cent compared to using virgin plastic resins • Glass – the container and fibreglass industries purchase 3.35 million tons of recycled glass annually • Textiles – the textile recycling industry’s total economic impact in the United States is nearly US$1.2b Source: Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Recycling Industry Yearbook 1 Source: Statista, Global Waste Generation 2 Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Meeting Report 3 Source: European Commission, Report from the Commission