Waste “happens” anytime that a material or item either does not serve a purpose for the possessor, or it isn’t utilized in a way that fulfills potential purpose(s). This means that waste generation can occur at any stage before, during, and after production processes simply due to the inefficient use of resources. Waste affects all industries, regardless of size and whether they are manufacturing products or offering services. As a result, waste also impacts all individuals as consumers. The basic principle of pollution prevention is that there is “no such thing as waste, only resources in the wrong place.” Both businesses and individuals can save money and reduce environmental impacts by adopting behaviors and designing processes that reduce the quantities of waste and pollution generation, prolonging the useful lifespan of products and process materials, and by regenerating natural systems through best management practices.
There are many ways businesses can proactively apply pollution prevention (P2) efforts to minimize waste production. If your business is looking for P2 inspiration, check out the exciting results of this W.A.S.T.E. Audit and P2 Grant program for Indiana manufacturers, organized in collaboration with the Purdue University Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).