During our research we realized the complexity of waste disposal and found out that globalisation and waste are closely connected. Evaluating the large number of global waste transports, it becomes even clearer that waste is a global matter that involves and needs international cooperation.
The majority of waste that we did researched on leaves its country of origin and gets recycled, reprocessed, reused or disposed of permanently in other countries. Afterwards only parts of it are returned to the country where it originated from.
Unfortunately, large quantities of waste are exported and disposed of illegally or through legal grey zones, because companies want to save money. This often means that environmental protection policies and workplace safety standards are not met. Furthermore, this behaviour is even supported by governments like the US.
If waste is not recycled properly, it can do serious harm to humans in direct and indirect ways. It can injure the workers who are exposed to it at their workplace and harm humans if it gets into the food chain.
Companies should try to make products that can be recycled easily and reduce their waste. They should not only think about how products can be designed to look good and work efficiently, but also that they can be taken apart without much effort. This would have major advantages:
- Old products could be recycled at a rate of almost 100% and companies could rely on those arisen resources to make new products.
- Less waste would be generated that could be exported to third world countries (on legal or illegal ways). Affected countries would not have to deal with the waste they have not even produced.
To further reduce global waste production it is necessary to increase funding of scientific research and development of new technologies and techniques for both, production and recycling. Also, alternative approaches like developing products that decompose themselves at the end of their life cycle have to be supported.
All these facts taken into account, we decided that waste takes a great share in a global context.