Why SMEs Are The Backbone of The Recycling Sector

The European Commission defined small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU as businesses with a turnover of less than €50 million and less than 250 employees. SMEs account for 50% of the GDP of all countries and represent more than 90% of the global business economy.

While SMEs can be seen as a sign of economic growth in a country, they also account for a large portion of environmental waste, with some citing plastic waste as a significant problem in their businesses.

Fortunately, most SMEs worldwide have begun implementing sustainable practices such as recycling to minimize environmental harm and reduce their carbon footprint.

For example, an SME dealing with LCD recycling is helping reduce electronic waste dumped at landfills. E-waste is an environmental and health hazard when left untreated.

When you have small and medium-sized businesses that specialize in recycling electronic waste, such as LCD screens and other electronic devices, you’re contributing greatly to reducing health and environmental hazards.

e-waste management is a must for small businesses

Government Support of SMEs Through Affordable Advanced Tech

Technology is one of the most crucial elements required for the success of small and medium-sized businesses. This is because tech provides these companies with everything they need to take their business to the next level.

It’s common knowledge that SMEs worldwide play a major role in promoting economic development and growth. Thus, it’s a win-win situation when governments decide to support SMEs.

As more and more electronics in cars and homes feature LCD screens, there is a growing need to reduce the environmental impact caused by the waste of these devices. One way the government can help SMEs, especially those specializing in LCD recycling, is to provide cost-effective tech to make their work sustainable.

Fortunately, researchers at the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan have developed a cost-effective LCD waste recycling system. This new technology will allow LCD manufacturing companies to reuse and save some heavy materials used in manufacturing LCD panels.

It also doesn’t produce any waste, which has always been a problem for small and medium-sized businesses.

What is the Impact of SMEs on the Global Economy

Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, have always been known as the drivers of economic growth and development. Thus, understanding the impact of SMEs on the global economy is crucial to creating a society full of wealth.

Small and medium-sized businesses ensure an ample flow of money into different levels of society by providing enough job opportunities for different calibers of people in society. They act as a barrier against recession by innovating and adapting to changing circumstances.

The recycling sector, in particular, has a wealth of opportunities for individuals and countries alike. An SME business dealing with the recycling of LCD screens can provide an enormous potential for job creation, especially in the US.

What is the Role of SMEs in the Circular Economy

Small and medium-sized businesses are crucial to the growth of global economies not only for their flexibility in adapting to environmental and technological changes but also for their contributions to the production and distribution of services and goods.

The circular economy is a model of consumption and production that involves repairing, recycling, sharing, refurbishing, and leasing existing products and materials for a long time. The practice of circular economy ensures waste is reduced to the barest minimum.

Although many large corporations have begun introducing sustainability practices in their businesses, few SMEs have taken the initiative. This might be partly due to their many challenges in transitioning towards a circular economy business model.

However, SMEs are key to adopting the circular economy business model as they have great contributing potential. These companies are familiar with the global context of measures needed to address the environmental and climate crisis that affects production.

How Do Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Implement Circular Economy Business Model?

Adopting the circular economy business model has the potential to enhance sustainability in every company globally, and this can help with the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are aware of the benefits of improving resource efficiency and closing loops by assessing new markets, creating competitive advantages, and saving material costs. But many barriers prevent SMEs from transitioning into the circular economy.

Barriers such as lack of capital, legislative or government support, and information about the benefits of the circular economy business model are among the biggest challenges SMEs face when transitioning to the circular economy business model.

However, they can implement the practices of the circular economy in various ways. They can use secondary raw materials as inputs for the production of new products, develop products that promote energy savings, and have a separate waste collection system for their electronic waste, such as LCD screens.

Global e-waste

Global e-waste in 2019 | Source: https://theconversation.com/

Why is Sustainability Important For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises(SMEs)?

As stated earlier in the article, SMEs comprise about 90% of the world’s business population. They play a key role in the world’s economy by contributing to each nation’s economic growth and development. Thus, making a change with sustainability on a large scale cannot be possible without the contribution of small businesses.

Your LCD recycling business might be small on a business or individual level, but practicing sustainability in your business helps you contribute significantly to climate change. For most SMEs, cost reduction is a big motivator for practicing sustainability, as going green is often associated with higher costs.

Most SMEs might decide to put off sustainable practices citing that it’s only meant for large corporations since it is so expensive. However, going green can save your SME recycling business a lot of money, with the benefit outweighing your initial investment.

The current recycling process for LCD screens is too expensive and labor-intensive. For a business like yours to become sustainable, you must adopt cost-effective recycling practices that will help you save energy and money.

Becoming sustainable also reduces your environmental risk. Practicing sustainability is important, especially for a company dealing with electronic waste. Putting sustainability practices at the forefront of your small business can give you an edge in the competitive market when seeking contracts with companies that value sustainability in their supply chain.

Conclusion

Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs) offer a great deal to the global economy. Not only do they have the potential to provide job opportunities, but they also alleviate poverty and generate income and wealth. While they contribute to a lot of waste emissions, most SMEs are becoming more aware of the need to adopt circular economy business models and sustainable practices.