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.
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).