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Waste in a Business Perspective

From a business perspective the concept of waste is absurd. Raw materials, energy, man power, knowledge and skills go into the making of any physical product. Throughout the value chain the value of the product increases from one step to the next. This continues until the product reaches the end customer at the beginning of its intended use.


Then, suddenly, the value starts to decrease rapidly. At the end of usage, the product is called waste and no longer has any value. The value may even become negative if the consumer has to pay to get rid of the product again.

Why is it like that? The product most likely still contains the same raw materials as when it was brand new. In the original production process these raw materials were bought for a price higher than the cost to mine or harvest them. Why would a business not like to get these values back into the production process again?

The same goes for the byproducts, which are also made up of materials initially having a cost. It can never be a good business practice to pay a price for something, use energy to fiddle around with it for a while, maybe mix it up with something else that also has a cost, put a waste stamp on it, and then throw it out the window. 

Put in this way, it is obvious that the concept of waste is absurd. Nevertheless, this is how the linear economy works. The dominant reasons are tradition, simplicity and ignorance.

It's about time we abandon the concept of waste!

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