The simplest way to define the “zero-waste” policy is the matter of keeping all garbage or used materials out of the landfill. Everything is either reused or recycled in order to keep from adding a single ounce of garbage to the landfill. And from where I live, less than 10 miles from our local landfill, I admit that this is something that should be considered for the benefit of our earth for many reasons. So, there is the question of whether businesses need to invest efforts in these processes because it will help them financially in the long run.
First, there is the role of reusable packaging, an option in a number of businesses. If there is a durable package developed in the first stage, then there only needs to be a proper storing and cleaning method developed to help manage those packages. However, the issue exists for the customers to return these packages to the company to be reused. That process is something that can be a challenge as these are new to the system and not a common thing in many businesses to date.
Second, there is always the value of recycling. As a business, you have the ability to use ALL recyclable materials inside the office. Your business also has the ability to build products, packaging and more from recycled materials. With that “Made from 100% Recycled Material” symbol is on your package there is a whole other audience brought into your hands. They are the ones who will be more likely to recycle those products themselves as well. And so the circle goes round and round. Additionally, it is important to know that many cities and states have put recycling incentives into place, meaning that recycling is now automatically included with garbage collection in order to help customers recycle as much as possible and keep the material entering the landfill to a minimum.
So, when do we think “zero-waste” may be of greater potential to our nation and world? There are scientists who predict that there are some businesses capable of having this certification within the next few years, while others predict that it will still be several decades before we receive a significant amount of “zero-waste” effort from corporations in order to make a significant difference for the environment.