publicado em 05/12/2022 14:22

Step by step for your company to become 'zero landfill' "The first step is to carry out an inventory, that is, a true "x-ray" of the waste to clarify the current destination"

When it comes to protecting the planet, there is no such thing as a trade secret. I've always been of that opinion, even more so now, having participated in a Zero Landfill project from start to finish. In addition to verifying that it is possible to get there, I drew several conclusions and I want to share the ideal step-by-step for companies that want to give a sustainable destination to their waste.

The first step is to carry out an inventory, that is, a real “x-ray” of the waste to clarify the current destination, volumes and quantities. From there, it is necessary to define new destinations that add value to the waste and put it back in the production chain, if that is possible. But be careful: my tip is to start from the easiest to the most difficult, as your team will get engaged, vibrate and redouble their energies by “ticking” each item on the list.

One way of researching the potential of each waste is to study the National Solid Waste Plan (Planares), released in the first half of 2022. The document sets out the goals related to the recycling of different materials for the next 20 years, with the aim of reusing much more waste than is done today. Some alternatives for this reuse are, in addition to recycling, composting, biodigestion and energy recovery.

In addition, the Recycling Credit Certificate appeared, within the Recicla+ Program, a partnership between the Ministries of the Environment and Economy. The idea is to ensure that waste such as paperboard is circulated through cooperatives, with invoices without duplication and guarantee of accuracy. Increasingly, the legislation makes the industry co-responsible for this process, so that the input returns to the production process and encourages the circular economy.

For this, consumer goods brands need to prove the reverse logistics of their packaging. We know that in Brazil, only 4% of solid waste that could be recycled is reused, while countries like Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey have an average of 16% recycling, according to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). If the comparison is made with developed countries, the numbers are even more distant. The German recycling rate, for example, is 67%.

But if you're from the Brazilian industry, you've certainly rolled up your sleeves to do your part, haven't you? For example, what happens to the packaging that holds your product after you deliver it to the end customer? Consumers also need to understand how to separate fixed items at home so that they can resume production properly. More than that, the population is an agent that influences the awareness that the fixed can, and should, become a new product.