You read about it in the papers, right? Probably not. In any case the USEPA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 last week during, not surprisingly, National Pollution Prevention Week. The goal of the Act, affectionately called P2 (for Pollution prevention) "is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream."
Doesn't sound too sexy, but P2 has "served as the foundation for efforts that have significantly reduced pollution at its source -- helping to protect children and families from the risks of exposure to pollutants, as well as reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment." So last week the EPA reminded people of the "the success of EPA programs such as Energy Star, WaterSense, EPEAT and DfE, which have collectively helped save billions of dollars, preserve precious resources, reduce waste and the use of toxic chemicals, and protect public and environmental health."
By the way, the "DfE" in the above paragraph stands for "Design for the Environment," and is just one of the programs in which EPA has been working with manufacturers, formulators, and downstream users to find better, more environmentally friendly ways to accomplish the same goals. I'll do a program review of DfE at some point in the future.
As President Obama notes in his P2 message,
“Together, we can work to create a cleaner, safer world for our children and grandchildren to inherit.”
More information P2 can be found on the EPA web site.