Trevor Noah, on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, just put our big problem of confronting trash and recycling right in our faces on during the July 26, 2019 episode. And we're about to smell it too.
Now that China and other countries are no longer accepting trash and recycling from the US and Canada, our shit is literally coming back to haunt us. So what are we going to do about it?
Solutions are complex, but when viewed through the lens of the Circular Economy, the direction is clear:
1. Materials that can't be composted, recycled or kept in use in some proven way need to be banned. This also includes toxic chemicals and substances, unless contained within a closed loop system with zero pollutants, emissions or runoffs.
2. Cities and governments must build local/regional recycling hubs (and improve upon current waste processing systems) to process the waste and recycling generated by their population.
3. Scientists, engineers and innovators must figure out ways to capture and turn existing waste and pollution, including non-recyclable plastics and micro-fibers, into new and needed products and services.
4. Businesses and consumers must keep products in use longer and utilize systems to reuse, repair, reclaim and recycle products at the end of their lifecycle.
5. Manufacturers must make and distribute new products using the materials and resources of old products and renewable energy sources.