• Disruptive Shifts Impacting the Growth of Global Waste Recycling and Circular Economy
    The increasing adoption of smart technologies will boost decarbonization and the digital sustainability of supply chains

    Research Overview

    2021 is defined by a continued market reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, implying that recycling facilities are still adjusting to market fluctuations. Digitalization and decarbonization will gain momentum and companies will strive to achieve sustainability goals and will continue to focus on innovative technologies.

    The market is pushing for a further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is exploring every opportunity to get emissions to net zero and net negative. It is also integrating new business models and changing carbon-intensive enterprises into circular carbon businesses. Digital technologies and smart solutions for waste management are firmly established in the market; however, only highly connected and fully integrated systems with the ability to effectively transform data into valuable information will drive the integrated digital transformation of the waste industry and move it closer to a sustainable and circular economy. Circular supply chains are gaining momentum, along with a growing focus on material and product circularity, which impacts new production models that close the loop on material sourcing and drive cross-industry collaboration and the increased efficiency of reuse, recycling, and repurposing (these trends will be supported by the incorporation of advanced technologies).

    The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the material stream of waste volumes (for example, an increase in the generation of organic waste and packaging waste, especially paper, cardboard, single-use plastic, and WEEE), impacting entire supply chains and production cycles. The growing generation of pandemic waste, especially personal protective equipment waste, such as face masks, plastic face shields, rubber gloves, and safety uniforms, and biohazardous waste from medical facilities has resulted in increased demand for special measures necessary to handle potentially contaminated waste.


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