Rubbish, trash, garbage, waste, whatever you call it, we all generate it, and it is taking over the world’s space and mother nature’s abundance faster than imaginable. If we continue to be a disposable society, there’s at least one exchange traded fund (ETF) that could benefit.

Although waste is universal, the concept of it is ignored and poorly understood. Nobody really knows how much is produced or what happens to it once it’s created.

The Economist explains that both developed and emering countries generate vast quantities of construction and demolition debris, industrial effluent, mine tailings, sewage residue and agricultural waste.

Waste is harmful. It stinks, it’s ugly, attracts vermin and releases harmful chemicals and and debris into soil and water when it is dumped. It is the source of almost 4% of the world’s greenhouse gases, mostly in the form of methane from rotting food, which does not take into account the methane from animal and farm waste.

There is so much waste out there, in fact, that in a deserted stretch of the Pacific Ocean void of shipping lanes, islands and human life, miles and miles of trash has accumulated, drawn there by converging currents.

So, is this an opportunity?

Globally, getting rid of waste is a big business. Waste firms see big opportunity in places such as China and Brazil, which spend $5 billion per year collecting and ridding themselves of waste. That is sure to grow, as the development keeps getting thicker.

Waste is also an energy source once it is collected. Many see a future without waste, where household trash and pig poop can generate energy for households. Now, it’s a matter of getting the politicians on our side.

  • Market Vector Environmental Services ETF (EVX): down 7.2% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.