5 Reasons Companies Should Turn Their Waste Into Profits

March 8, 2017

9:15 am

Every time a food or beverage is produced and every time a personal care product is manufactured, a tremendous amount of waste is inevitably generated. Many byproducts (or what we as consumers call “waste”) of production processes simply cannot be economically utilized — fibers, cellulose, stems and seeds, to name a few.

In the beverage industry, there are spent brewery grain and spent coffee grounds. In other industries, there are broken cookies, pasta trimmings, agricultural silage, even wood chips. Because these organic byproducts have had seemingly little market value, they end up in landfills, burn piles, animal feed or – at best – compost and recycle bins.

But that is changing as businesses realize their organic waste actually does have value. In fact, it can be used as the raw material for the production of commercially valuable all-natural biochemicals.

Biochemicals are bio-based natural chemicals that can be used to replace the petroleum-derived chemicals that are found in over 95 percent of manufactured products today. These biochemicals are manufactured by special bacterial communities that break down this organic waste under carefully controlled settings. The processes take advantage of fermentation and extraction principles, and require so much trial and error to perfect that they’ve been patented. But the end result is remarkable: In partnership with a biochemicals manufacturer, a business can literally convert its “trash” into “cash.”

There is tremendous business potential in this arrangement, so let’s explore the specific advantages of using your business’s organic waste as an additional revenue stream in the lucrative biochemicals market.

You Reduce Landfill and Burn Pile Waste

Many businesses dispose of their organic waste in landfills and burn piles because it’s the only economically viable option. Others spend valuable financial resources pre-processing their waste for the animal feed industry. Even businesses that find ways to reuse and compost their organic waste, however, find that it’s not a moneymaker. Converting organic waste into biochemicals is a win-win; not only does it actually make money for a business, but it’s also an environmentally responsible practice.

Biotech Personnel and Infrastructure Will Come to You

When your business partners with a biochemical manufacturer, the experts and the equipment can come to you. In other words, the process can be completed on site, eliminating the need to transport your organic waste off site and to try to manage the manufacturing process remotely. Biochemical manufacturers work symbiotically with your business, developing a healthy working relationship and the lines of communication necessary to build a steady, profitable production line.

The Bio-Based Natural Chemicals Market Is Red-Hot

The specialty chemicals which are used to flavor foods and incorporated into a variety of other consumer goods have traditionally been produced by big chemical companies like Dow Chemical. These synthetic chemicals, such as esters, carboxylic acids, thioesters, and sulfur compounds, are not natural and cannot be sourced back to natural raw ingredients. By contrast, biochemicals produced from organic waste are all-natural: vegan, kosher, halal, organic, and GMO-free, and they can meet the strict international standards required to be labeled “natural” products. Consequently, as consumers increasingly demand natural ingredients and transparency in production processes, manufacturers are responding by turning to these naturally produced biochemicals. It’s a market that’s exploding.

Biochemicals Are Produced Through Green Processes

When specialty chemicals are manufactured using petroleum as the starting material, they tend to generate hazardous waste and have a generally negative impact on the environment. Biochemicals produced through organic waste, however, rely on bacterial communities that break down the waste naturally, limiting damage to the environment. This alternative process is known as “green chemistry,” and it’s the foundation of the all-natural methods used to produce environmentally sustainable products.

Your Business Reduces Its Carbon Footprint

All traditional manufacturing processes lead to carbon emissions; even the act of transporting organic waste to landfills and composting centers adds some pollution to the environment. Converting organic waste to biochemicals, however, is a carbon-neutral proposition. The conversion process can happen right at the site of your business, and there are no environmentally hazardous chemicals released in the process.

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Mike Templeman is the founder of Foxtail Marketing, a tech focused demand generation firm. He's a die-hard 80's movie aficionado and is a recovering Canadian. He maintains columns at Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Tech Cocktail. You can find out more about Mike at Foxtail Marketing.

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