Human development drives higher demand for materials and resources. Where the materials and resources come from virgin sources and end in waste disposal, environmental degradation can result and we impoverish the future. Reducing waste, reusing and recycling materials will be essential to sustainably develop societies into the future.
Ever-more sustainable material consumption is essential to ensuring impacts to the environment is minimized as we bring the benefits of development to people. Environmentalism was built on the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
Across industry, innovation results in reductions in primary inputs per unit of valuable output, and substitution of single use material inputs for recycled materials. We support this, we want to see more of it and bring the success stories to light.
Our economies have a huge gap in recycling. Extraordinary amounts of potentially valuable materials, everywhere from mine tailings to municipal landfills, are treated as waste instead of resource. This must change.
The developing world is closing its doors to Australian ‘recyclables’, calling on us to innovate and develop value-added end-use products for those materials. This is bound to be energy-intensive, thus plentiful clean energy is an essential foundation to deep, economy wide recycling.
Large and growing amounts of material are waste-in-waiting, including e-waste and our first generation of solar photovoltaic panels. Used nuclear fuel is almost entirely recyclable for new energy, dramatically reducing the waste disposal burden. Reducing this burden will enable nations with no present nuclear waste management process to utilise a nation that can manage the waste, thereby enabling nuclear power development.
We need better plans for tomorrow to address the waste challenges of today.
1) Establishment of a local energy recycling industry for photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and batteries.
2) Join efforts for the development of generation four nuclear reactors and fuel recycling infrastructure, to recycle and fission long lived nuclear waste products.
Solar PV panel recycling