The Problem of Waste Intensity in Entrepreneurial Business Models

Wojciech Piontek


A key feature of the market economy and the mechanism of its growth, as defined by J. A. Schumpeter, is an incessantly expanding avalanche of consumer goods which eventually transforms into an expanding waste stream. In fact, waste is a permanent feature of capitalist economy. Securing sustainable development requires that the realization of capitalist economic goals be accompanied by practical actions to solve the problems and threats arising from this fact. One of the key areas of this type of activity is directly correlated with entrepreneurial business models. A different understanding of the notions of growth and sustainability allows for a distinction between two separate models of waste management: the market model, which entails the intervention of public authorities, and the environmental model. Both are oriented at stimulating economic growth, increasing welfare and employment. Both also respect the requirements of the environment and focus on solving the problems of waste and waste intensity. Development is perceived differently in each of the respective models. The market model refers to neoclassical economics and a dialectical understanding of economic growth, while the environmental model is based on the foundations of classical economics. The entrepreneurs’ approach to the problem of waste intensity remains closely correlated to the waste management model within which they operate. In the market model, the entrepreneur concentrates his actions on salvage and recycling of the waste already produced, whereas the entrepreneur seeks to limit waste in the environmental model by putting the “earn more selling less” rule into practice.


economic development, sustainable business model, waste intensity, waste management model

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