Redesign of Products and Processes Key to Zero Waste

A KEY PART OF ZERO WASTE IS THE NEED TO RE-DESIGN PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES. Businesses who adopt zero waste and design for environment are finding out that doing well in business and doing what’s right for the environment are not incompatible.

The Grass Roots Recycling Network has developed ten Zero Waste Business Principles as criteria for forward thinking businesses to adopt/aspire to:

  • Commitment to the triple bottom line - ensuring that social, environmental and economic performance standards are met together.
  • Use Precautionary Principle — applying the precautionary principle before introducing new products and processes, to avoid products and practices that are wasteful or toxic.
  • Zero Waste to landfill or incineration – diverting more than 90% of solid wastes from landfill and incineration from all company facilities.
  • Responsibility: Takeback products & packaging — taking financial and/or physical responsibility for all products and packaging the company produces and/or markets under its brand(s), and requiring suppliers to do so as well.
  • Buy reused, recycled & composted - re-using, using recycled content and using compost in all our operations.
  • Prevent pollution and reduce waste – redesigning our supply, production and distribution systems to reduce the use of natural resources and to eliminate waste.
  • Highest and best use – continuously evaluating markets and directing our discarded products and packaging to recover the highest value of their embodied energy and materials
  • Use economic incentives for customers, workers and suppliers – We encourage our customers, workers and suppliers to eliminate waste and maximize the reuse, recycling and composting of discarded materials through economic incentives and a holistic systems analysis.
  • Products or services sold are not wasteful or toxic – evaluating the company’s products and services regularly to determine if they are wasteful or toxic, and developing alternatives to eliminate those products which we find are wasteful or toxic.
  • Use non-toxic production, reuse and recycling processes – eliminating the use of hazardous materials in our production, reuse and recycling processes.

For more details, see www.grrn.org

[Source: February 2007 WasteWatch ]