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Why Should You Consider Creating a Zero Waste Business?

The phrase “Zero waste describes a lifestyle in which people make an active effort to avoid creating rubbish. In particular, the goal is to avoid the creation of non-compostable rubbish. Non-compostable rubbish is the sort that is most likely to accumulate in landfills or accidentally end up in oceans and waterways, potentially harming the environment. Compostable rubbish isn’t quite as problematic, as long as the responsible entity actually composts it.

While it is possible to recycle some of the non-compostable rubbish – and to even get paid for your efforts if you use services like the containers for cash programme – people are beginning to realise that recycling, on its own, will not be sufficient to combat Australia’s growing waste problem. There are several reasons for this; the most compelling is that there is more plastic rubbish than there is demand for the recycled raw materials it creates.

Recycling Isn’t Particularly Efficient

Recyclable plastic rubbish cannot necessarily always be re-used for the same type of purpose that it originally served. Often, there is some degradation that occurs in the process of recycling. The recovered materials might only be suitable for use in “plastic lumber to make items like park benches or playground equipment.

The means that there are limited numbers of buyers who are able to profitably purchase the recycled raw materials and effectively use them to create new products. The end result is a glut of plastics that people recycle, and a bottleneck in the process of actually getting the materials converted into new products.

The heart of the problem is that recycling isn’t really an efficient way to deal with plastic waste. A more workable solution is to avoid the creation of the plastic waste to begin with.

Less Waste Can Translate to Lower Expenses and Higher Profits for Businesses

The recent widespread reduction of plastic bag usage is one prominent example of waste reduction and potential cost savings. Retail stores that provide their customers with bags have to pay for them. This expense can be reduced or eliminated if the store stops providing the bags and starts encouraging consumers to carry their purchases using some other means.

Some chain stores, like Costco and Natural Grocers in the United States, provide boxes that customers can use for packing up their purchases and carrying them home. They reuse the boxes their suppliers used for packaging up their produce or other goods when initially shipping it to the store. This is win-win for the stores, as they would otherwise have to recycle or get rid of the produce boxes.

In some locations, stores still provide the bags but charge a small fee for each, which can help to offset the costs of the bags. In all cases, customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

It is important to note that this method of waste reduction only saves businesses money in cases where the customer isn’t inconvenienced by the arrangement. If the zero-waste policies serve to make consumers feel inconvenienced, they’ll shop elsewhere – which translates to losses for the stores rather than savings. So these sorts of zero-waste policies must be implemented thoughtfully and with great care, and management must also be sure of evaluating any potential unintended consequences.

Some Consumers Actually Seek Out Zero-Waste Businesses

Many environmentally conscious consumers actually prioritise eco-friendliness over their own convenience. This breed of consumer is already consciously making an effort to make their own homes energy efficient, and to reduce their own carbon footprint. They are likely to seek out businesses that share their concern for the environment.

Some businesses have placed zero-waste principles at the heart of their operations, and have attracted a loyal consumer base because of this. Social media has helped these business owners to promote the idea of zero waste and to encourage the patronisation of zero waste businesses. Successful implementation of progressive zero-waste policies could actually be used as a marketing tool to attract this type of environmentally conscious consumer to your business.

Our Galaxy Only Has One Life-Sustaining Planet

Of course, taking care of our planet is simply the right thing to do. Of all the good reasons you might want to work towards implementing a zero-waste business environment, that’s probably the most compelling reason of them all. Sure, success with zero waste makes for great marketing and perhaps even some cost savings – but that’s only the beginning of the story. At the heart of the matter, waste reduction is a necessary action for every individual, business and organisation on the planet. To be truly effective, it must happen on a massive scale, which means that everyone will have to play a role.

Business Daily Media