- SPI, the Plastics Industry Trade Association, launched its Zero Net Waste (ZNW) program, providing members a tool to use in their facilities and offices to evaluate waste reduction opportunities and to increase landfill diversion. Program participants receive a manual, which includes practical, step-by-step instructions and other resources to help, for instance, in educating employees and identifying appropriate service providers as they pursue a zero waste goal.
- Participating companies will go through a two-step qualification and verification process.
- The waste-cutting-focused program, intended to support companies along the entire value chain in plastics, came from the SPI Recycling Committee's Emerging Trends Subcommittee. And it was developed by a membership workgroup.
SPI promotes the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry — an industry that has introduced products that offer consumers' convenience, and have brought opportunity to the recycling niche — but that poses environmental concerns.
Last month a report stated at least 8 million metric tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, harming sea life and causing other problems; the authors called on the plastics industry to address the issue.
As these environmental messages continue, the plastics industry is beginning to realize its critical role in helping to reach for zero waste, not only to ease burdens on landfills and oceans — but to promote a circular economy. SPI's new educational offering is a step in that direction.