5 Manufacturing Waste Reduction Strategies for Businesses

Large bales of manufacturing waste.

Any manufacturing or commercial business produces waste as a result of its operations. These wasted items can come in the form of excess materials, products that are defective or damaged, or simply unused resources.

Manufacturing and commercial businesses are estimated to generate around 10% of the world’s waste. While some of this waste can be recycled or reused, much of it ends up in landfills. This is not only bad for the environment but also expensive for businesses.

By implementing a few simple strategies, you can reduce the amount of production waste and save money for your business.

What Manufacturing Waste Does To the Environment

Manufacturing waste takes up a lot of space in landfills. In fact, manufacturing and commercial businesses account for about 30% of the waste that goes into U.S. landfills each year.

This wasted material can release harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. It can also pollute water supplies and damage natural habitats. In addition, manufacturing waste takes up valuable space that could be used for other purposes, such as housing or agriculture.

Types of Manufacturing Waste

Below are the different types of production waste and some tips on how to reduce them:

Excess materials

Excess materials can be caused by overproduction, inefficient processes, or poor planning. To reduce excess materials, you can implement just-in-time manufacturing, a production strategy focusing on only producing the number of needed products – when they are needed.

Defective or damaged products

To reduce this type of waste, you can implement quality control measures such as regular inspections, testing, and training employees on proper procedures.

Unused resources

To reduce unused resources, you can implement just-in-time manufacturing and plan processes that support this manufacturing method. This can help to reduce inventory costs and the amount of waste your business produces.

Waste from packaging

Packaging waste can be caused by using too much packaging, using the wrong type of packaging, or not recycling packaging materials. To reduce packaging waste, you can use less packaging, recycle packaging materials, or choose biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials.

Waste from manufacturing processes

Manufacturing process waste can be caused by inefficient processes, machinery that is not properly maintained, or human error. To reduce manufacturing process waste, you can implement process improvements, maintain machinery properly, and train employees on proper procedures.

Ways To Reduce Waste: Production Waste Reduction Methods and Steps

Implementing a few simple strategies can help to reduce manufacturing waste. Here are some of them:

1. Implement just-in-time manufacturing.

Just-in-time manufacturing is a production strategy that focuses on only producing the number of products that are needed when they are needed. This can help to reduce inventory costs and the amount of waste your business produces.

2. Use quality control measures.

Quality control measures such as regular inspections, testing, and training employees on proper procedures can help to reduce defective or damaged products.

3. Reduce packaging waste.

You can reduce packaging waste by using less packaging, recycling packaging materials, or choosing biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials.

4. Improve manufacturing processes.

Improving manufacturing processes can help to reduce manufacturing process waste. Process improvements can be made by implementing lean manufacturing principles, maintaining machinery properly, and training employees on proper procedures.

5. Recycle or reuse materials.

Recycling or reusing materials can help to reduce the amount of waste your business produces.

Manufacturing Waste Management: What NOT To Do

As well as implementing waste reduction strategies, it’s important to have a manufacturing waste management plan in place to deal with the waste that is produced. This should include procedures for storing, transporting, and disposing of manufacturing waste.

It’s also important to avoid doing the following:

  • Don’t overproduce: Overproduction is one of the main causes of manufacturing waste. Only produce the number of products that are needed – when they are needed.
  • Don’t use too much packaging: Using too much packaging can increase packaging waste. Use the minimum amount of packaging necessary.
  • Don’t use the wrong type of packaging: Using the wrong type of packaging can also increase packaging waste. Use recyclable or biodegradable packaging materials where possible.
  • Don’t dispose of manufacturing waste illegally: Disposing of manufacturing waste illegally can lead to hefty fines. Make sure you have a waste management plan in place and that all employees are aware of the procedures.
  • Don’t forget about manufacturing waste: Manufacturing waste is often forgotten about or ignored. Make sure you have a plan in place to deal with it and that all employees are aware of the importance of reducing manufacturing waste.

Manufacturing waste can have a negative impact on the environment and your business. By implementing these strategies, you can reduce manufacturing waste and save money for your business.

Generated Materials Recovery is a leading provider of manufacturing and industrial waste management services. We can help you develop a comprehensive recycling and waste reduction plan that fits your unique needs. Contact GMR today to learn more about our services.

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