Zero waste. Have you heard of this term before? What does it mean? Literally, zero waste does mean that no waste is produced. To this, the industry experts respond with criticism and say this is just talk and there are no viable methodologies for this. What do others have to say? They disagree and think that zero waste can be achieved. But this will only be when you re-imagine waste.
Deep down, the term zero waste does not really mean zero waste. A website on zero waste states that waste can be regarded as a potential resource or residual product. The term implies that products are designed in such a manner that makes it possible for consumers to reuse them, instead of being thrown away in landfills.
When it comes to businesses, overproduction, quality control defects and other similar issues are regarded as waste. If businesses try to achieve zero waste, they can bring down their operational costs, instill innovation and increase their sustainability.
All plants and facilities should try to incorporate zero waste and modify their procedures if required. However, it is not just businesses that can make a change. The general public can and should play its part. There are so many households that never bother about recycling and reusing. A survey claims that of all the products we buy, we are only using 1% of them after six months of purchase.
So why should efforts be made to achieve zero waste? Because this approach is a fast, affordable and effective way of protecting the climate. An industry expert said that zero waste is the only way to ensure a stable climatic path. Only when waste is prevented, reused, recycled or composted can the environment be protected.
A reputed waste management group is helping a number of businesses in achieving zero waste and sustainability. They have re-imagined waste and accordingly modified the procedures. When the food waste stream was analyzed, large quantities of meat were going to waste. They modified the process and meat is now being donated to zoos and animal shelters. Over 10 million pounds have already been reused this way.
Cooking oil waste which is produced from fryers, is also collected and is then used for generating biodiesel. Similarly, motor oil is refined into a form which makes it usable once more.
More corporations and waste management companies should launch similar programs, aimed at zero waste.