The waste hierarchy

What's with waste?
Understanding the waste hierarchy.

We get it; understanding waste and the waste streams can be confusing, which is why we’d like to introduce the waste hierarchy.


Waste Hierarchy Pyramid

The waste hierarchy pyramid

The waste management hierarchy is a framework designed to guide and rank waste management decisions for businesses, organizations, and individuals—helping us rethink our relationship with waste based on what’s best for the environment. This is often illustrated as an inverted pyramid.

Brightmark’s solution diverts plastics from the environment, incinerators, and landfills, then recaptures the valuable resources in this waste and keeps it in the circular economy.

Read Our Fact Sheet

How a circular economy works

Growing plant iconMake
Food Waste iconConsume
Plastics Engineering iconRepair
Circularity iconReuse
Recycling iconRecycle
Circular Economy Trees in Cricle 1Circular economy
Make goods
Products must be designed differently to be used longer, resold, repaired, upgraded, and upcycled into new products.
Consume goods
A circular economy favors activities that preserve energy, labor, and materials value. Being cognizant of how we consume goods is an imperative place to start.
Repair the goods
Repairing is rebuilding a product to the specifications of the original manufactured product using a combination of reused, repaired, and new parts.
Reuse the goods
With suitable designs, companies can create new systems and services to reuse materials and not waste the energy used to create them.
Recycle the goods and make them into something new
A circular economy avoids using non-renewable resources and preserves or enhances renewable ones, for instance, by returning valuable nutrients to the soil to support regeneration or using renewable energy instead of relying on fossil fuels.

Simple ways to reduce waste

We're all part of the solution.

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The most simple tactic for reducing waste is consuming less. Find areas where you can cut back and ask, "do I need this?" before buying.
Circular Plastics icon


Lean into reusing as many items as possible—cutting down on the need to produce more products, which generates less waste ending up in landfills and the environment.
Recycling Bin icon


Research what materials can be fully recycled, and find local recycling facilities in your area. With plastic waste specifically, make sure it's rinsed and sorted.
Transportation Recycling Truck icon


When buying products and services, look for companies focusing on sustainability. See if they are "B Corp Certified" or have other environmental verifications.
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Research is essential—especially with the internet at our fingertips. Do your best research when buying products and supporting initiatives.
Man with two kids at plastics facility

Our stance
on plastic waste

Brightmark believes that other policies, practices, and technologies are needed to address plastic pollution, including restrictions on single-use plastics and increased funding for recycling efforts, but advanced recycling technologies can play a vital role in the waste hierarchy in managing plastic waste.

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Sustainability tip: Cut back on waste this holiday season by shopping light and shopping sustainable.
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