We asked several Anthesis experts to comment on sustainability trends and topics that are emerging, changing and impacting businesses, cities and governments globally for our 2019 sustainability predictions series. In our fourth video, Consultant Nick Cuomo discusses the secondary commodities market. #AccordingtoAnthesis
What are some big changes we’re going to see in 2019?
We’re expecting [UK] Defra’s Resources and Waste Strategy at the end of 2018, which will definitely impact the secondary commodities markets going into 2019 – especially in light of the Chinese sword waste restrictions that we saw early on this year. Now since then, other countries in South-East Asia have started to take up some of the slack, such as Malaysia and Vietnam. However, the likelihood of these being long-term solutions is slim, and we need to start looking at solutions more close to home.
What should businesses be doing to address these changes?
We’ve seen hundreds of companies commit to reducing their dependence on single-use plastics. This has come in light of Blue Planet II and increased consumer pressure. These pledges consist of increasing the amount of recycled content, cutting out unnecessary packaging and making sure all their packaging is easily recyclable. These pledges help create a demand for secondary materials and will help contribute towards a more circular economy.
What changes should consumers expect to see in 2019?
Plastics have been in the limelight a lot over the past year – whilst we won’t expect many changes we’re likely to see the momentum of this continue within industry, and we’re likely to see industry increasingly introduce initiatives and behavioural change activities which might help educate consumers in tackling the issue.
What should government and industry be focusing on in 2019?
Government and industry need to ensure the mechanisms are in place to generate enough secondary material, at a high enough quality, to meet the demands set out by companies pledging to increase the amount of recycled content within their packaging and products. To help achieve this, key stakeholders throughout industry needs to ensure they work collectively to generate a high enough quality material to meet these targets.