Avoidance and reduction methods are ways of reducing wastes in modern societies. Though civic authorities in different countries have the responsibility of collecting and disposing of wastes, today, the large volume of solid wastes which accumulate are posing a problem which the authorities cannot alone handle. Since landfill areas are falling scarce, the governments are seeking cooperation from people in society to be aware of ways of reducing the wastes that they generate, to take on responsibility for reusing, recycling and conserving energy resources of our planet.
Waste reduction is an important method of waste management which is the process of preventing waste materials from being created. Avoidance methods include reusing second hand products, repairing broken items and using old items and putting them to different uses so that the buying and need for new products is minimised. Consumers are encouraged to use cotton shopping bags instead of plastic shopping bags. Then again, cans and other forms of packaging materials are being encouraged to be put to secondary use. Again, manufacturing items with less amount of raw materials are other instances of reduction and avoidance methods.
One way to encourage industries to reduce costs and to manage their industrial wastes is to avoid generation of it altogether. Today many governments come out with regulations within which industries need to conform to so that they follow the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle or avoid so that their waste generation is reduced. Wherever there is an opportunity to avoid waste generation, then such methodologies must be implemented. If such technologies are feasible and can be implemented within the scale of the operating costs, then industries are encouraged to take up such initiatives. As it is, such reduction methods will also have long term cost and energy saving implications.
Waste avoidance and reduction methods are the foundation of the waste disposal hierarchy in advanced societies. The aim of such methods is to minimize waste and reduce the amount of wastes that accumulate in garbage everyday. If waste is reduced and minimized, it decreases the costs associated with waste disposal, recycling, treatments and other expensive waste management techniques. Such initiatives are often implemented through producer responsibility. Producers are encouraged to make changes in their designs and packaging of products so that waste reduction can be implemented.
Again, governments have also taken up various initiatives to force consumer awareness in the right direction. For instance, the additional taxes being levied on the use of plastic bags is a successful initiative which forces consumer behavior in the right direction of waste minimization.