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Blogs

Zero Waste Week

05/09/2022

Hannah Cowley - Supply Chain Lead - Sustainable Procurement

The following provide more information where QinetiQ has operations:

Australia Canada Belgium Germany
Sweden USA Wales Scotland

The concept of Zero Waste is driven through a shared understanding for the need to reduce waste as far as possible to zero in order to maintain environmental sustainability. Inspired largely by the natural eco system that efficiently reduces nearly all organic substances to reusable components to provide new life and growth, this symbiotic life cycle is both sustainable and renewable, providing a well proven model for human adoption.

There is no such thing as waste, only stuff in the wrong place!

The campaign looks to tackle the problem of litter and disposal of many non-organic synthetic materials, such as plastic material packaging and non-biodegradable man-made products, which are producing a global problem to our planet in both volume and toxicity and address methods of reuse and conscientious recycling to reduce the burden on landfill, incineration and environmental pollution / contamination.

Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused (Design for Reclamation / Recycling). The goal is for no waste to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean, but to support a circular economy. The traditional linear approach has only single use in mind of which leads to limited reusability and is therefore not in tune with customer demand for responsible products. For example, the defence industry which is prominent for the production of e-waste, designing a product with material that can easily be recycled like (but not limited to) aluminium.

In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place.”
Ellen MacArthur on the basics of the circular economy

The circular economy is based on three principles, driven by design:

  • Eliminate waste and pollution
  • Circulate products and materials (at their highest value)
  • Regenerate nature

It is underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials. A circular economy decouples economic activity from the consumption of finite resources.

Waste image


Thank you to Charlotte Scallon - Head of Sustainability at Biffa for her contribution to this blog.