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Pollution Prevention (P2)

Pollution Prevention (P2)

An inverted pyramid with the most preferred pollution prevention option -- prevent pollution by not creating it in the first place -- at the top. Other sections of the pyramid -- recycling, treatment, disposal -- are less desirable, in that order.

Pollution prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source, also known as "source reduction."

  • Source reduction is fundamentally different and more desirable than recycling, treatment and disposal.
  • There are significant opportunities for industry to reduce or prevent pollution at the source through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use.
  • The opportunities for source reduction are often not realized because existing regulations focus upon treatment and disposal.