Waste minimization is the process of reducing the amount of waste produced with the aim to eliminate the generation of harmful and persistent wasters. Waste minimization involves efforts to minimize resources and energy use during manufacture.
Waste management on the other hand, focuses on processing waste after it´s created, concentrating on reducing, reusing and recycling products and components. Waste minimization should be seen as a primary focus for most waste management strategies.
Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused and no waste is generated, it encompasses more than eliminatig waste through recycling and reuse, it focuses on restructuring the production and distribution systems to reduce waste.
Many companies have set ambitious targets waste reduction, and factories have been targeted as the primarily function to trial waste reduction principles.
One prime example of this journey to zero waste is Uniliver; the giant FMCG started his journey back in 2009 with the aim to achieve zero waste across their global factory network by 2020. They achieved this target in 2014, 6 years ahead of plan. Here is how they did it:
The challenge is now to roll out these best practices from factories to distribution centres, head offices and customers. Hopefully one day, the zero waste philosophy will be part of everybody´s life, in the meantime, a few pioneers are showing us the way. Only a few changes in our day to day life will mean a start to a journey to reduce our impact in our planet.