Refuse and Recycling Blog

What it Takes to Become a Zero Waste Business

Posted on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:30 AM

zero waste businessBy now it's more than apparent that our current manufacturing and business practices are having an adverse impact on the planet.

It probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to know that businesses are responsible for a huge portion of the trash and pollution produced around the globe.

There is hope, as more and more businesses are starting to adopt more environmentally friendly manufacturing practices and working towards the goal of being zero waste.

What is a Zero Waste Business? 

 The term zero waste is one that's popping up a lot in news reports, but many people are unaware of what exactly this term encompasses and what it doesn't. When it comes to being a zero waste business—or home for that matter—the ultimate goal is to use recycling and other means to ensure that absolutely zero trash or waste is sent to landfills. 

What Can Your Business Do?

If you want to make your Connecticut business implement zero waste initiatives, there are a number of different things you can do, but be aware that it will take time and a very concentrated effort for even the most environmentally conscious businesses to achieve this goal. Our landfills are quickly filling up, while also resulting in untold damage, such as contaminated soil and groundwater, so, while making your business zero waste definitely won't be easy, it's necessary if we want to have any hope of protecting our planet

Find Out How Much Trash You Produce

The first step towards becoming zero waste is to take note of the amount of waste your business produces in a year, and then determine what percentage of this waste is sent to landfills. While this number should of course include how much trash the business itself actually sends to landfills, it also needs to include the trash produced or thrown away by customers using their products or services as well.

The Importance of Recyclable Packaging

So, although developing a plan to recycle or incinerate as much trash as possible is one of the first, and most important steps towards creating a zero waste business, it's definitely not the only aspect. This means that any manufacturing company needs to also take into consideration the amount of waste that results from the packaging of their goods, and work towards eliminating this as well. 

For many businesses, this can be as simple as using recyclable packaging and encouraging their customers to take advantage of this instead of simply throwing it away.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

Of course, for most businesses, achieving the goal of becoming zero waste has to start at home. This means coming up with a plan to reuse or recycle as much as possible, while also trying to limit the amount of waste produced in the first place. This may mean switching to only using recyclable materials, or partnering with other businesses that may be able to reuse or otherwise take care of any non-recyclable waste you produce.

Ultimately, it takes a long time for any business to fully become zero waste, so it's important to set lofty, yet achievable goals for waste reduction, and not to expect it to happen overnight. It may end up taking a complete rethinking and overhaul of your business and its practices, but it's one of the most important things you can do to limit the damage your company has on the environment—and even if you're never able to fully achieve the goal of zero waste, every little bit helps.

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Tags: waste reduction, zero waste, waste management in Connecticut