The Waster himself has remained a skeptic on the ability of companies to hold true to their bold statements about achieving that utopian aim of “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 odor risk etc.
Image by Didriks via Flickr
But, that was nothing but a dream, until now that is, and the following press release from a major UK food prcessing company as reported in 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 80per cent 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:
The display of cleanliness and eco-friendly, responsible disposal behavior was due largely in part to the efforts of a local group. Rural Action’s Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative worked with the festival organizers on recovery of landfill and …
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.”
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 – Waste360 Blog
“A product might be unrecyclable, 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 â€œgarbageâ€ if it canâ€™t be recycled, even if that product has a lower environmental footprint and creates less waste overall than an unrecyclable 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. Thatâ€™s good, but itâ€™s not enough. These plans need to get into nitty-gritty details about materials management.If we are truly interested in achieving zero waste, we need to get away from the emphasis on waste management and embrace the more challenging goal of sustainable materials management.”
What do you think about the “Zero Waste” movement? Is it genuinely reducing man impact upon the environment or is it just “greenwash” – something which makes it seem that companies and communities are looking after the environment while in fact they carry on as before?