Today, mining generates 30 times more solid waste than all other industries in Canada combined. Much of this waste is dangerous and will pose a liability for future generations. This is why it’s important to find ways to fix this problem. If this is something that you want to learn more about, read on for five effective solutions that will help reduce Canada’s overall material footprint.
Reducing Raw Material Use
A recent call by the Gaia Foundation and 180 scientists, communities, and organizations urged the European Union to cut its carbon emissions and consumption levels. They proposed that the European Union adopt legally binding targets to achieve a 70% reduction in material consumption by 2050. Canada should also adopt similar targets, especially when it comes to reducing per capita consumption levels.
The transportation sector uses large amounts of energy and resources, so its leaders should set targets for “zero-emission vehicles” and cap the size and number of individual vehicles on the road. It should also increase the availability and affordability of high-quality public transportation in urban areas.
The number of vehicles on the planet has doubled to over seven billion in the last 20 years and could double again, to over fourteen billion, by 2040. However, not all of these vehicles will be electric. Regardless, the majority manufactured today are powered by the equivalent of over 10 million cell phones in minerals and materials.
Limiting Urban Sprawl
Reducing the environmental footprint of transportation and housing resources also means reducing the low-density urban sprawl that is so resource-intensive. Reducing sprawl means reducing the number of roads and the service infrastructures that run along them, and this makes individual vehicles more popular again and limits the development of public transportation.
If electric vehicle batteries are to be designed, made durable, repaired, and recycled efficiently, design targets are needed. The European Union and some U.S. states have already implemented such design targets.
Recent research also suggests that proper investments and policies in recycling could reduce the mining of raw materials to make one type of battery by up to 40-60%, while potentially bolstering the economy of the nation(s) where the digging takes place.
Ending Public Subsidies for Raw Material Extraction
Governments should end direct and indirect subsidies for raw material extraction in order to encourage the use of less-destructive alternatives. In Canada, this amounts to billions of dollars per year. Funding efforts should instead focus on the development and promotion of low-material products, along with effective materials management programs.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you better understand how to address Canada’s material waste issue. As you can see, there are a slew of different ways to address this problem. And while it may take time, effort, and resources to make the necessary adjustments to minimize Canada’s footprint, it will all be worth it in the end as saving the environment takes precedence above everything else. By taking the steps to reduce material waste, Canada’s future will be secured for generations.
If you want to learn more about the Canadian gold sector, then you’ve come to the right place. Newfoundland Gold is an alliance of companies focused on the advancement of mineral exploration and mining projects in Canada’s Newfoundland. For more information on this, visit our website today!