Tom Wright Interview Part One: Fundamentals Of Zero Waste

[See part two of Tom Wright’s interview here]

What is zero waste? Is it really zero? And what are the best practices being developed by companies pursuing a zero waste result?

Those are the questions I posed in today’s video interview with Tom Wright, founder of Sustainable Bizness Practices. Tom works with Whole Foods’ responsible packaging forums and processes.

In practical terms, “zero waste,” has come to mean 90+% landfill diversion in the disposal industry. Currently only a few cities (like San Francisco) are approaching this goal by achieving landfill diversion in the 70+% range.

Much of the reason for this performance gap between goal and results is the lack of waste management infrastructure. For example, most cities are not equipped to handle the large streams of compostable materials Corporate America would like to introduce.

But the key point that Tom makes is that waste is actually a design flaw. The real opportunity of a Zero Waste System is for reducing waste streams and cost through better product and packaging design.

The path to zero waste has three elements:

Design products, packaging and systems to reduce or eliminate waste streams.

Create a system to capture next generation uses for a waste stream that adds environmental and economic value.

Tom makes this key point, “This is the least that should be done!” In effect, the inefficiency of design and reuse are at least remediated through an effective recycling program.

Watch Tom’s video to learn more about the current status of Zero Waste in America and suggested action-paths for realizing this goal:

[See part two of Tom Wright’s interview here]

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce that profiles best practices of actual companies growing green revenues. Watch other interviews of sustainable leaders at Earth 2017 TV. Earth 2017 TV.

Founder of Earth 2017. Author of The Boomer Generation Diet: Lose Weight. Have Fun. Live More that Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief of Triple Pundit , says is "Written in Bill Roth's lovable, relatable tone. A must read for any Boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it. "

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