Especially in a recession, businesses may be concerned that aiming for zero waste means costly changes to the way they operate. Cost is likely the biggest obstacle, whether real or perceived. Provided there are facilities nearby where recyclables can be processed, this part isn’t too expensive. Zero waste may also mean implementing water reclamation toilets, and purchasing energy from renewable sources. These can be seen as an investment, rather than a pure expense.
A business faces the challenge of educating its employees how to follow zero waste practices. Eliminating the concept of waste is a very difficult goal to accomplish due to the fact we have lived with the ability to simply discard unwanted items into a garbage can and never have to think about them again. People have to make the conscious decision to pursue zero waste and break away from their normal habits. This challenge is magnified by the lack of options available from manufacturers of common every day products (think of a trip to the grocery store, for example) that fulfill goals of zero waste. People need to be dedicated to zero waste practices and have the resolve to follow through on practices that can be very intimidating initially.
I would say that money is the biggest challenge in becoming zero waste. Since there has been a lot of attention surrounding the environmental impact of companies, I do not really see why a company would not want to change their ways to become zero waste. The only thing probably stopping them is lack of resources due to money.
I think that getting all the employees to follow the policy of zero waste would be the biggest obstacle. Sometimes, people are already set in their own ways, and having them change may be difficult. I think it’s an interesting idea to have a company go for zero waste, but I think it would hard to do.
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