Preventing pollution

Preventing future pollution
Using pollution prevention techniques
Pollution prevention includes any action that reduces or eliminates the creation of pollutants or wastes at the source, achieved through activities that promote, encourage or require changes in the basic behavioral patterns of industry.

Pollution prevention focuses attention away from treating and disposing of wastes toward eliminating or reducing undesired byproducts within the production process itself. Pollution prevention through waste minimization and cleaner production is more cost-effective and environmentally sound than traditional pollution control methods.

Pollution prevention techniques apply to any manufacturing process, and range from relatively easy operational changes and good housekeeping practices to more extensive changes such as substituting non-toxic for toxic substances, implementing clean technology, and installing state-of-the-art recovery equipment. Pollution prevention can improve plant efficiency, enhance the quality and quantity of natural resources for production, and enable investing more financial resources in economic development.

Prevention is the act of taking advance measures against something possible or probable. Prevention is generally contrasted with control or cure. In general, the effort, time, and money associated with prevention is less than that of control or cure. This idea is captured in the maxim "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Thus, in many cases it is worthwhile for industry to prevent pollution rather than control it.

Pollution prevention is any practice that: Reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant reentering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment before recycling, treatment, and disposal; or Reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants; or Reduces or eliminates the creation of pollutants through increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, or protection of natural resources by conservation.

Pollution prevention is complete prevention instead of displacement of a problem and not the transferring pollution from one medium to another (for example from water to air).

It is common for auto companies to change paint color with each car that goes through the paint process. As a result, old paint must be purged from the lines before painting each car. This results in excess paint sludge waste and fugitive emissions of toluene and xylene. Additionally, the purging and refilling qualifies as a setup activity that adds time to the process. Block painting, the process of painting batches of like color cars, is a manufacturing process change that reduces the purged paint sludge and solvent emissions. Block painting not only decreases the waste, but also the setup time involved in the process. Cars can also be painted without toxic toluene and xylene solvents. Electrostatic painting can adhere paint to treated metal. While the scrubber represents treatment and block painting represents waste reduction, shifting to the electrostatic painting process represents pollution prevention by design.
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy