North American Mars Factories Now Landfill-Free

Sustainable_Palm_Oil_Mars_bar_bitten_Asim18Candybar maker Mars has achieved its goal of sending zero landfill waste from its ten North American factories, raising the bar of sustainability for other companies to follow.

The Virginia-based candybar maker announced this goal earlier this year, citing the need for greater corporate responsibility. Well, it didn’t take Mars very long to achieve this goal, as new reports have emerged confirming that it no longer sends waste to landfills. This is a bold move that shows companies big and small that sustainability is achievable, and it’s actually easier than most people realize.

So, how was Mars able to achieve such a feat? According to the company’s website, it follows a simple 5-step approach to waste disposal:

  1. Reduce
  2. Reuse
  3. Recycle/compost
  4. Recover/energy from waste
  5. Dispose landfill

Mars focuses on the top tier options first, slowly going down the chain until there’s no waste left to dispose (landfill is a last-ditch option). This model has worked surprisingly well, as all ten North American Mars factories no longer send waste to landfills.

You might be wondering why Mars would put forth the effort to eliminate landfill waste. Well, there are several different reasons for the change, one of which is the simple fact that its economical. As noted by the candybar maker, reusing, recycling and recovering waste often yields additional energy or water. Instead of tossing leftover materials in the trash where they end up cluttering landfills, Mars is reusing its waste to produce energy. Implementing sustainability practices also boost the company’s credibility, making it more appealing for consumers. It’s a win-win situation for Mars, as it creates a positive message while boosting sales in the process.

The processes required to eliminate waste can actually use additional energy or water. In those cases, finding a beneficial use for the waste, through recycling or incineration with energy recovery, may be the lowest-impact solution. We are working to understand these dynamics and develop long-term targets beyond landfill avoidance,” wrote Mars on its company website.

Of course, the real benefit of Mars’ sustainability program is its positive impact on Earth and the environment. It’s estimated that Americans generate around 250 million tons of garbage each year, most of which ends up in landfills. As these landfills begin to fill, municipalities are having a difficult time finding new places to store it. Following Mars’ simple 5-step approach saves landfill space by reducing waste.

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