In February 2011, the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations introduced the legal requirement for organisations to apply the waste hierarchy when dealing with waste. This means organisations must take all reasonable steps to prevent and reduce waste and where waste does arise, demonstrate that they have dealt with it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. At the top of this waste hierarchy is waste prevention.
In Scotland they have announced a landfill ban on municipal biodegradable waste by 2020 as part of the Zero Waste Regulations. This is the first ban of its kind in the UK and could lead to other countries following suit.
What is waste prevention ?
Waste prevention focuses on reducing the amount of waste that you generate at source. It involves looking at your manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, recycling and disposal processes to identify opportunities to manage waste and minimise its impact on the environment. Typical activities involved in waste prevention include:
- Site visits
- Mapping the packaging and production wastes to inform and develop good practice
- Developing recommendations and strategies for prevention, recovery and reuse
What are the benefits ?
There are lots of benefits you can gain from waste prevention including:
- On-going cost savings
- Increased resource efficiency
- Improved environmental credentials
- Identify costly environmental hotspots
- Additional marketing tool which can be used when bidding for new tenders/new customers