The circular economy concept introduces waste hierarchy and zero-waste strategy that reveals a host of new approaches for waste management and elimination.
Typically, waste streams are defined as flows of specific waste that include the entire journey from source to recovery, recycling or disposal hub. And based on this definition, waste streams can be separated into streams of materials like metals, rubber, textiles, or plastics.
A sustainable waste stream would keep all materials in use for the longest time possible in order to minimize the amount of solid waste being disposed of. However, it is a process that, just like circular economy, comes from the earliest stage of product manufacturing instead of the end-of-line processes.
According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, they define Zero Waste as "a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use."
It involves a designing and manufacturing process that systematically avoids not only the volume, but also the toxicity of waste and materials.
In order to begin, companies are being told to audit their current waste generation, management, and disposal. Tally the sources, types, and volumes of trash and how their company treats them after usage. Essentially, you need to understand how and where waste is being generated prior to trying to manage it.