There are copious amounts of business opportunities these days thanks to globalisation, and the way barriers have been removed in many aspects. Cross border trade is now easier than ever, and in most countries, business is encouraged as a way of stimulating the economy. So why not consider creating a business that also helps the environment at the same time? We are living in a period where the planet is suffering from the effects of human “progress”, yet this can also be seen as an opportunity to create businesses that help reduce this impact. Below are a few ideas of businesses you could start today that will not only put some cash in your pocket, but help reduce the damage to the environment.

1. Scrap metal businesses

Have you ever wondered what the value was in scrap yards? Piles of junked motor vehicles piled high, taking up a huge amount of space? Well, consider how the cost of raw materials such as metal have increased over the past few decades as demand has rapidly increase and your outlook may change from junk to a gold mine. If you have the nous to see the potential in waste recycling to value, you will have a look deeper into this option. Collecting old cars and shipping them off to foreign manufacturers who will salvage the raw material can be very profitable indeed.

2. Plastic retrieval business

The majority of plastic waste can be recycled if you have the correct equipment to do so. The remainder that cannot be recycled can be used as fuel to create energy through the combustion process, and therefore if you get your hands on such waste, there will always be a use for it. Since plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it can be collected and melted for reuse. Generally, however, it may take a lot of effort to accumulate enough plastic to make it worthwhile to process. The smart move would be to pay a minimal amount for people to give you their plastic for recycling, saving you the time and effort searching for it.

3. Electronics retrieval business

The perpetually upgrading nature of the electronics business means that there is a constant stream of electronics ending up in landfill, the scrapyard or being broken down for their individual parts, and this has no sign of slowing down. Procuring natural resources to be used in the manufacturing process however, appear to be unable to keep up, and so removing the parts of value from old electronics, such as metals, can be a very profitable business.

4. Rubber retrieval business

Rubber is very sought after, similarly to plastic, thanks to its widespread use in many day-to-day products. Accumulating a large amount of rubber, for example, can be very profitable when sold off to recycling plants or rubber product manufacturers.

5. Recycling facilities company

Most places have a shortage of recycling facilities even though there isn’t a shortage of waste that can be recycled. The reason for this? The usually high capital expenditure associated with purchasing machinery and building a facility in order to sort such waste. However, there are often government subsidies when it comes to running such a business, and a lesser amount of competition may mean that this can be an attractive business opportunity if you can raise the funds.

Recycling will no doubt only become more crucial in the waste management process, especially considering the amount of household and commercial waste being produced shows no signs of slowing. In order to make the correct investment, you will need to gauge the long term benefits of turning waste recycling to value. Will the income generated be sustainable or have room for growth?