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Data last verified: Monday, 04/22/2024

Ocean-bound plastic

Plastic Bank operates under the global standard defined by Jenna Jambeck. Ocean-bound plastic is defined as plastic that has not yet found its way into the ocean but is classified as "mismanaged waste". That is, plastic that is not being (formally) collected, is not likely to be collected, and is found within 50km of an ocean-bound waterway or coastal area.

Community Members

Individuals within a recycling community who collect plastic and exchange it at a Plastic Bank collection branch for secure income and life-improving benefits.

Equivalent Bottles Stopped

The amount of ocean-bound plastic collected and recycled in our recycling communities converted into bottles. Conversion rate is 50 bottles per kg (the average weight of a 500mL bottle is ~20g)

Recycling Communities

Community of plastic collectors living within 50 kilometres of ocean-bound waterways involved in plastic collection and its exchange at Plastic Bank collection points.

Alchemy

Alchemy is the blockchain platform that powers the Plastic Bank app. It enables fully traceable recycling processes, secures income for recycling community members and tailors impact reports for our stewards.

9 recycling trends to look out for in 2024

Minutes to read: 4 minutes

Worker sorting plastic garbage for recyclingPhoto by: stevanovicigor at EnvatoElements

As the new year kicks off, everyone’s buzzing with excitement. It’s all about new stuff – fresh clothes, cool gadgets, and a bunch of new plans for the year. Businesses and families alike are ready to hit the refresh button and start the new year with their best foot forward.

But, trying out new stuff usually means ditching the old, and that’s not helping our plastic waste problem. To keep things eco-friendly and make sure businesses remain compliant with extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation, here are some recycling trends coming up in 2024.

Why does recycling matter?

Recycling is not new. Even preschool students are taught the three Rs. We cannot understate the importance of solid waste management, which includes the conservation of valuable resources and the reduction in energy consumption and use of landfills1

As a matter of fact, when we recycle and repurpose materials such as plastic packaging, we ultimately reduce the need for resource extraction and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. This helps alleviate the burden on the environment. 

At the same time, recycling supports economic growth by creating jobs. It also fosters a culture of sustainability where manufacturers and households are engaged to adopt greener solutions to preserve the planet2.

9 recycling trends to look for in 2024

Smiling woman sorting waste at homePhoto by seventyfourimages at EnvatoElements

As we approach 2024, we’re observing nine trends that are gaining traction or re-emerging in the landscape of sustainability. These trends have long-standing ties to environmental efforts, with many evolving over the years. 

Today, they’re being reshaped by the increasing urgency for stronger eco-friendly practices. Let’s explore these trends that are setting the stage for a more sustainable future.

1. Increased emphasis on the circular economy

The concept of a circular economy, where products and materials are designed for reuse and recycling, has been gaining momentum. Governments have also put in place incentives for businesses that support circular initiatives. With the development of technology, this trend is expected to continue to reduce waste, promote responsible use of resources, and build a regenerative future in 2024 and beyond. 

2. Advanced recycling technologies

Innovations in recycling technologies, such as chemical recycling and waste-to-energy solutions, are expected to play a more significant role in reducing the environmental impact of waste disposal.

More and more companies are utilizing the help of big data and AI in the fast and accurate formulation of solutions that can break down plastic and other materials in a faster yet safer manner3.

3. Single-use plastic reduction

Many regions and companies are implementing or planning to implement restrictions and bans on single-use plastic to reduce plastic pollution. In the Philippines, most local government units (LGUs) have encouraged the citizens to use eco-bags for their shopping needs. With LGUs implementing stricter sustainability practices and legislation, this trend is expected to continue in 2024.

4. E-waste recycling

With the increasing use of electronics, there has been a growing focus on e-waste recycling to recover valuable materials and reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste. 

This is an emerging trend thanks to the novelty of technology and equipment that process e-waste4. In fact, it has garnered a lot of attention, especially in China and the European Union (EU) where most appliances and electronics are manufactured. Expect to see more news and laws supporting the management of e-waste in the coming years.

5. Consumer engagement

Public awareness about recycling and sustainability is growing. In fact, with the help of social media and the internet, news and environmental campaigns have become a lot easier to cascade to global audiences. This has created socially conscious consumers who actively look for and support companies who invest in environmental stewardship5

In 2024, there will likely be more emphasis on consumer education and engagement to promote responsible recycling habits. This is especially true in schools and communities where public awareness is most needed.

6. Localized and community-based initiatives

Communities and local governments are increasingly taking initiatives to manage and process their waste locally, reducing the need for long-distance transportation of recyclables.

With the increase in floods and natural disasters, LGUs and respective homeowners associations are seeing the need to constantly improve the management of waste to prevent such phenomena6

7. Sustainable packaging

Companies have been exploring sustainable packaging options to minimize the environmental impact of their products. This could include more use of reusable, biodegradable, or compostable materials.

Organizations like Plastic Bank have created recycled and recyclable materials such as Social Plastic® feedstock, which are integrated into new products and packaging. 

8. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs

EPR has been in sustainable development for decades. However, it is only in recent years that it has emerged as one of the most potent policy tools at the disposal of LGUs and the national government in the Philippines. 

By shifting the responsibility for recycling and managing waste from consumers to producers, the latter is compelled to be more aware and responsible for the negative environmental impact they create. Of course, the national government incentivizes these EPR  programs, and this trend is expected to continue to grow.

9. Green financing and investment

More investments in recycling infrastructure and sustainable practices are expected, as environmental considerations become a focal point for investors. With the public becoming more particular with the brands they support, investors are keen to support businesses and enterprises that can generate a positive impact in the eyes of consumers.

Harnessing recycling trends in 2024 

Laptop with slogan consisting of three wordsPhoto by seventyfourimages at EnvatoElements

Technological advancements have the potential to significantly amplify recycling efforts to reduce the global demand for virgin raw materials. The trends shown above provide a lot of promise that can be further improved and enhanced. 

The trends identified in this article barely scratched the surface of all the innovative trends in 2024. Among others include molecular recycling, data analytics, and biological depolymerization which are all being developed as we speak. 

Implementing these new trends into your business provides a competitive advantage and increases compliance to EPR laws. To better understand which programs work and fit for you, get in touch with one of our experts now.


 

  1. National Institute of Environmental Sciences, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” www.nih.gov, Sep 03, 2019, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | Kids Environment Kids Health - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (nih.gov)
  2. EA Crunden, How useful is recycling, really?,” www.atlantic.com, Jan 28, 2021, How Useful Is Recycling, Really? - The Atlantic
  3. Cardiff University, “New method of recycling colored plastics offers possible solution to 'huge environmental challenge,” www.phys.org.net, July 25, 2023 New method of recycling colored plastics offers possible solution to 'huge environmental challenge' (phys.org)
  4. New method of recycling colored plastics offers possible solution to 'huge environmental challenge' (phys.org)
  5. Jean-Christophe Gabriel, “New technologies to recycle electronic waste,” www.theconversation.com, March 29, 2020,  New technologies to recycle electronic waste (theconversation.com)
  6. OECD, “Extended Producer Responsibility: Updated Guidance for Efficient Waste Management,” OECD 2016, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264256385-en
  7. Gabriel Pabico Lalu, “Marikina has this uncanny discipline when it comes to trash,” www.inquirer.net, Nov 02, 2018,  Marikina has this uncanny discipline when it comes to trash | Inquirer News