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P&G Pledges Zero Manufacturing Waste by 2020

landfillProcter & Gamble says it will eliminate all manufacturing waste from its global network of more than 100 production sites by 2020.

P&G won’t put a dollar amount on its planned invest in recycling and reuse to achieve this goal. A spokesperson told Environmental Leader that P&G anticipates savings once it eliminates all manufacturing waste.

Previously, the company said it has saved almost $2 billion through waste and energy costs since 2007.

The company says 56 percent of its production sites globally send zero manufacturing waste to landfill. Over the next four years P&G will have to eliminate or reuse about 650,000 metric tons of waste to achieve its zero waste goal.

P&G plans to do this by ensuring all incoming materials are: converted into finished product, recycled internally or externally, or re-used in alternative ways through partnerships.

For example, in Lima, Ohio, liquid waste from products like Tide and Gain are being converted to alternative fuels sources to power vehicles. Non-recyclable plastic laminate materials from plants in Mandideep and Baddi, India are shredded and pressed into low-cost building panels. And in China, production waste from one facility is composted as “nutritional soil” for local parks while waste from another facility is used as a raw material to make bricks.

The P&G zero-waste goals comes as several major corporations including General Motors and Microsoft have announced similar commitments — and achievements — recently.

Earlier this week the EPA recognized Crystal Creamery for its zero-waste efforts at its dairy processing plant in Modesto, California.

The company, which is participating in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, partnered with Fiscalini Farms, a nearby farm with anaerobic digesters, to process its wastewater by-product along with manure and other dairy by-products into electricity. The anaerobic digesters, operated by Organic Solution Management, can process and compost 200 tons per day of waste and produce 1 megawatt.

Crystal Creamery aims to achieve zero waste by 2020. This includes five dairy farms that it owns and another 18 that supply milk under contract. The company currently diverts over 98 percent of materials from landfills through reuse, recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion.

Last year, Unilever said it sends zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across more than 600 sites in 70 countries — an effort that has contributed $227 million in cost-benefits to the company.

Patagonia and Dell have also made similar commitments to putting no waste in landfills. For example, Dell has no electronic waste, meaning it is accepting all old technologies and is recycling them to keep them out of landfills.

Ken Silverstein contributed to this report.

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