All products and services have environmental impacts. And the waste can occur at any stage of the product life-cycle: extraction of raw materials for production, manufacturing, distribution, usage and disposal. Therefore, an integrated approach to addressing waste needs to be taken: end-of-pipe (disposal & recycling) solutions alone cannot create a sustainable product life-cycle.
As opposed to the traditional approach to production, which is known as Take – Make – Dispose, an alternative approach Reduce – Reuse – Recycle addresses the problem of waste at all stages of the product lifecycle. It is based on the following 3 principles:
- Reduce the unnecessary use of materials, energy and products starting from the initial stage of the product life-cycle.
- Reuse materials, energy and products that are already a part of the production system or in use.
- Recycle used products into raw materials.
The core idea behind this approach is to extract the maximum value from material, energy and products and to generate the minimum amount of waste.
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle has a number of positive economic, environmental and social impacts. From the economic point of view, less waste means lower investment in materials and energy directly impacting the profit margin of a business and a production plant. From the environmental point of view, the benefits are: reduced pollution related to harvesting of new materials, reduced greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change and fewer amounts of waste that need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators. From the social point of view, the reduction of waste helps sustain the environment for future generations.
We are curious to know what your production plant is doing in regards to the reduction of waste. Please let us know in the comment section below.
If you would like to work together on a sustainable solution for your production system, let us know!