Why do you see rubbish as an opportunity?

    Thato Kgatlhanye, Gründerin von Rethaka

    Today’s “take, make, dispose of sth.etw. entsorgen; hier: wegwerfendispose” economy needs huge amounts of cheap materials and cheap energy, and the model is reaching its physical limits. The circular economy is a different kind of industrial system, which promotes productivity by fighting pollutionUmweltverschmut­zungpollution and repurposing rubbish.

    I believe we need to completely rethink our relationship with rubbish and realize that the things we no longer need and then throw away don’t just disappear. They often end up in the sea or in Africa. Plastic pollution alone is estimated to cost developing and industrialized nations up to $1.27 billionMilliarde(n)billion annuallyjährlichannually.

    But rubbish presents an opportunity for new kinds of small to medium-sized businesseskleine und mittlere Unternehmensmall to medium-sized businesses to develop products and skills in the environmental and manufacturingFertigungs-manufacturing sectors. Creating a culture of innovation within these companies is particularly urgent because I feel consumers will buy brandMarkebrands that offer new products and services that are less destructive to the environment.

    $1.27 billion

    the estimated yearly cost of plastic pollution

    There is no shortageKnappheitshortage of rubbish, whether in the north or the south; the shortage comes in the form of technologies and infrastructure that need to be developed and used to deal with it. corporationUnternehmenCorporations and governments that use real-time tracking(Nach-)Verfolgungtracking of rubbish flow (UK)Abfallstromrubbish flows and increase their use of renewable energy, while creating jobs across labour-intensive sectors, will experience high return on investmentKapitalrenditereturns on investment.

    The top industrial companies of the future will find value in rubbish (UK)Müllrubbish. Similarly, governments that invest in waste managementAbfallwirtschaftwaste management will have the answer to the question about where growth in their economies will come from — rubbish.
     

    Thato Kgatlhanye is the founderGründer(in)founder of Rethaka Trading, producer of to repurpose sth.etw. einem neuen Zweck zuführenRepurpose Schoolbags, solar-powered rucksacks made from recycled plastic. They contain a solar panel that to chargesich aufladencharges during a child’s walk to and from school, which can later be used as a light that enables them to study at night.Rethaka has so far repurposed more than 400,000 plastic bags into 10,000 schoolbags. These are distributed in South Africa, as well as Namibia, Niger and Nigeria. The company hopes to expand across 24 African countries over ten years, as part of Thato Kgatlhanye’s plan for Rethaka to lead the “circular economyKreislaufwirt­schaft- (ssystem)circular economy” in Africa.

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