Paper, paperboard products and packaging form the bulk of municipal solid waste in the US – about 44%. Only half of these materials are recovered for recycling. Post-consumer packaging consists of valuable commodities such as aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and steel and has significant market value. In 2010, the value of discarded packaging in the US was approximately $11.4bn. Reutilising these ‘waste’ resources represents a real business opportunity.
Louis Brandeis, the celebrated US Supreme Court Justice, may not have been referring specifically to corporate or supply-chain transparency when he uttered this famous quote, but given his interest in progressive causes, it is likely that he would have certainly recognised the importance of transparency as “a remedy for social and industrial diseases”.