There exist quite a number of principles when waste management is involved. These principles give each and everyone of us a better understanding of what waste management is all about. These principles are as follows.
Polluter is responsible
The “polluter pays” principle is in place to make the party who causes the pollution pay for the harm it does to the environment.
The polluter-pays principle in relation to waste management refers to the necessity for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of non-recoverable material. One useful mechanism for putting the polluter-pays principle into practice is the extended producer responsibility plan.
Efficiency of Resources
Resource efficiency expresses the knowledge that current production and consumption patterns cannot support continued global economic growth and development. Worldwide, humans take more resources out of the earth to make products than it can resupply. Reduced environmental impact on the manufacture and use of these items, from final raw material extraction to ultimate use and disposal, is known as resource efficiency. Sustainability is a topic that can be addressed through resource efficiency.
The Lifespan of a Product
The process of turning raw materials into products and consuming them is represented by the product life cycle. They are dumped as waste once their useful life is passed. Waste can then be recycled, utilized again, or disposed of.
Order of Waste Management
The sustainability of the regulation of waste is affected by the waste management hierarchy, which shows how different waste management techniques affect the environment.
The five-step waste hierarchy structure was initially used to waste policy in the European Union Waste Framework Directive.
Preventing waste is given top priority in the hierarchy of waste management. Yet, when waste is produced, preparation for reuse, followed by recycling, and finally recovery, are given precedence. Waste disposal, such as in landfills, is the choice that is least preferable. According to the waste hierarchy, purchasing apples from a neighbourhood market without special packaging is preferable to purchasing apples from a supermarket that are wrapped in plastic (prevention). The waste hierarchy can help with further decisions if the plastic wrapping has already been purchased. For example, there may be opportunities to reuse the plastic in the home. Unfortunately, due to hygiene concerns, recycling plastic wrap is not an option in large-scale trash management. The next step would be to go on to recycling. In this instance, the plastic packaging would be broken down into smaller pieces and used to create new plastic. Recovery (such as burning the material to create energy) is a less preferred choice than recycling.
Blue economy and circular economy
Volumes of waste can be considered a resource. Such thinking would also help us go closer to finding a solution to the waste problem. The idea of waste management is no longer sufficient on its own to address waste issues, and it is possibly possible that the idea of resource management will take its place in the future.
In a circular economy, energy and material loops are slowed down, closed, and made smaller in order to reduce resource input and waste, emissions, and energy leakage. This can be accomplished by durable design, upcycling, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, and refurbishment. The linear economy, which follows the “take, make, and dispose” principle of production, stands in contrast to this.