Waste is the by-product of everything we do and create as creatures in the universe. From the smallest microbe up to humans and even the stars themselves create waste but, such is the way of nature, what is discarded from one group can be harnessed and essential to another. If you think this is over-egging then look no further than the simple but elegant yeast strain that consumes sugar and creates alcohol as a waste-item.
‘Zero-waste’ is the concerted effort by companies that produce goods to ensure nothing that is made will end up on a landfill. This is done by being more conservative with materials used, reusing equipment where possible and repurposing waste products in the process. As breweries tend to give mashed malt grains to farmers for feeding cattle.
However, we as everyday people may feel like creating a zero-waste environment of reusing by-products is in the hands of the great monolithic corporations and titans of industry and there’s nothing to be done but truthfully we have a huge impact. In 2019, UK households threw out more than £46 million of gifts that went unused. Not recycled, not donated - thrown out. Add to that the 295 billion pieces of plastic thrown out of UK houses every year and you’re starting to picture how big these landfills can be.
We have seen a big swing in the last decade to encourage people to follow the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. By taking care of the little things every day, we as a whole can make vast changes to the environment arounds us for the better.