Globally, more than 500 billion tons of waste is produced annually. But, unfortunately, a large percentage of that waste ends up in the water bodies. The problem is especially prevalent with plastic waste, where recent data shows that more than 2 million pieces of plastic waste, including bottles and papers, float freely in our oceans. One such example is what is dubbed as the great Pacific garbage patch, a collection of more than 1.5 million pieces of plastic trash and three times the land size of France, floats in the Pacific Ocean.
The imminent and existential threat to humanity posed by the magnitude of such pollution has prompted governments worldwide to implement mitigation measures. The country has implemented several policies geared towards promoting waste recycling by expanding its recycling infrastructure in Australia. Recently, the Australian government set up a Recycling Modernization Fund and committed to providing US$134 million. The effort is expected to boost recycling in the country as more than 9 million tons of waste will be recycled yearly, besides creating over 10,000 jobs.
The effort to combat this problem is not a sole government agenda. Rather individuals such as Vik Bansal, CEO of Cleanaway, Australia’s largest waste management company, are also leading the efforts. He believes that the government effort will significantly boost waste recycling infrastructure in the country, spark investor confidence and transform the view of waste not as just waste but as an essential resource with immense potential value
Vik Bansal believes that the government should be devoted to creating a sustainable recycling environment. He believes that although it is critical to invest in recycling infrastructure, sustainability should also be at the forefront of focus. Vik points that without the consumption of recycled products, there would be no drive for waste recycling. Companies such as Cleanaway believe that if there is a closed-loop of demand, they can continue recycling waste sustainably. Vik Bansal, an MBA holder and an Electrical Engineering graduate, has worked in different positions, including as CEO and president of Valmont Industries.