The generation of waste must be prevented, and an emphasis put on the generation of byproducts that become ecologically safe and sound resources. If waste is already in existence, it should be disposed of at its source in an ecologically safe and sound manner ensuring that nothing is being stored that could, if an accident occurred, cause harm to the environment. If no assurance can be given that waste will not cause potentially significant adverse effects, then the activity that is generating the wastes should cease, or permission to undertake the generative process should not be granted.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends developing and strengthening national capacity to reuse and recycle an increasing proportion of waste, notably waste water and solid waste.
2. Voluntary stewardship programmes are flexible unlike mandated programmes, but they fall short in achieving substantial environmental improvements two reasons. First, industry bears the cost of voluntary programmes but they do not reap the benefits of any environmental improvements associated with their efforts. The second reason voluntary programmes fall short is because consumers don't have incentives to return products for recycling. In conclusion, voluntary programmes are inadequate because there is no enforcement mechanism, so certain industry players must subsidize other players.