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An Introduction to Sustainable Materials Management

If you’re interested in reducing how much waste ends up in your company’s dumpsters in Atlanta, then you may benefit from learning about sustainable materials management.

Sustainable materials management (SMM) is an approach designed to utilize materials more effectively and efficiently throughout their lifecycle. The SMM model examines how materials are manufactured and how they can be used and reused in a way that is more productive and sustainable. Some of the strategies that are implemented in the SMM approach include reducing material toxicity to make it more environmentally friendly, getting more value out of materials by using them more wisely, and sourcing materials with consideration for the world’s needs in the future. The SMM approach begins from the start of a material’s life cycle, including how it is extracted and manufactured, and it continues through its distribution, usage, and disposal.

More specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable Materials Management Program for fiscal years 2017 to 2022 prioritizes the areas of the built environment, sustainable food management, and sustainable packaging. Finally, the program’s goals involve decreasing disposal rates, reducing environmental impacts, increasing socio-economic benefits, and increasing the ability of various groups to implement the SMM approach.

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