The Waster himself has remained a sceptic on the ability of companies to hold true to their bold statements about achieving that utopian aim of “zero waste to landfill” let alone “zero waste”.
We would all like to think that those suffering from “bad neighbour landfills” on their doorstep, will soon wake-up to find their local landfill closed for good with all that means for the return of peacefulness to local roads, and lack of odour risk etc.
Image by Didriks via Flickr
A great definition of Zero Waste has been coined, as follows:
“Zero Waste is a goal that is both pragmatic and visionary, to guide people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water, or air that may be a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health. ”
– Definition of Zero Waste as adopted by the ZW International Alliance
Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills or incinerators. via Zero waste – Wikipedia
Zero Waste Principles
One principle of zero waste is extended producer responsibility (EPR), also known as product stewardship, which places a shared responsibility for end-of-life product management on the producers, and all entities involved in the product chain, instead of the public. Extended producer responsibility encourages product design changes that minimize a negative impact on human health and the environment at every stage of the product's lifecycle.
Another principle of zero waste is environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP). EPP is a commitment to purchasing products that are less harmful to the environment and to human health. It includes buying goods that have a high percentage of recycled content, avoiding hazardous materials, and taking into consideration the full life cycle of goods and services.
Green design and green building are also important components of zero waste. via ZWasteCalRecycle
But, that was nothing but a dream, until now that is, and the following press release from a major UK food processing company as reported by the Poultry Site:
Moy Park Reaches Zero Waste to Landfill Target
UK – To celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June, top 10 UK food company Moy Park has announced it has reached the ambitious goal of sending zero waste to landfill across all 16 of its manufacturing sites and its agricultural base throughout the UK and Europe.Commenting on the milestone, Moy Park HR Director Europe, Mike Mullan said: “In just four years Moy Park has reduced the amount of waste we send to landfill from 80 percent to zero.“This is an outstanding achievement for the company and further demonstrates our commitment to sustainable best practise.
So, once again “the Waster” eats humble pie!
Moy Park is not the only company to be reporting strong progress on the way to “zero waste” to landfill either, with all credit due to the organisers of the following festival in the US:
Waste Effort at Fest Hits Close to Zero
The display of cleanliness and eco-friendly, responsible disposal behaviour was due largely in part to the efforts of a local group. Rural Action's Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative worked with the festival organisers on recovery of landfill and Zero Waste to Landfill.
Credits: Waste effort at fest hits close to zero
But, there are doubters who remain to be convinced that the “zero waste” goal is achievable for every business, as the following headline appears to suggest:
Is Zero Waste achievable for Concord? – Wicked Local Concord
“Eliminating organic waste from the school cafeterias is one visible and high-impact goal, but has not had any real success in Concord as it has for example in the Acton-Boxborough district. Setting up such a program would require encouragement from outside, as well as teachers, staff and students to bring it about with continued effort over the long term.”
Credits: Is Zero Waste achievable for Concord? – Wicked Local Concord
AND, let's not forget that there is still a great deal of debate about just what the term “zero waste” actually means, and how it should be applied if it is to achieve real sustainability:
Defining Zero Waste – The Problem
“A product might be un-recyclable, but that is acceptable if its overall environmental footprint is lower.”This is anathema to zero waste advocates, who are most concerned about managing the end of the pipeline. They call a product “garbage” if it can't be recycled, even if that product has a lower environmental footprint and creates less waste overall than an un-recyclable competitor.”
“The confusion between waste management and materials management is a problem in zero waste plans, which tend to rely heavily on waste management strategies. These plans aim to decrease disposal through recycling and organics management. That's good, but it's not enough. These plans need to get into nitty-gritty details about materials management.If we are truly interested in achieving zero waste whether that be “zero waste” or simply “zero waste to landfill”, we need to get away from the emphasis on waste management and embrace the more challenging goal of sustainable materials management.” Credits: Defining”Zero” Waste
Zero Waste to Landfill 2018 Update – Could Trash-eating Bacteria Lead to Zero Waste?
Their fermentation process reduces the waste into an odourless substance. It also kills pathogenic bacteria and viruses through the resulting heat that is caused by the bacteria feeding on the material.The company has a current partnership with the Benguet State University for further studies on the effects of is fertilisers on vegetables. via TrashbacteriaZeroWaste
What do you think about the “Zero Waste” movement? Is Zero Waste to Landfill possible without a huge amount of our waste being incinerated?
Is it genuinely reducing man impact upon the environment or is it just “greenwash” – something which makes it seem as if companies and communities are looking after the environment while in fact they carry on as before?
Please comment to tell us what you think?