Goal 4: Promote the Best and Highest Use of All Materials
Nevada’s businesses, industries, and consumer habits hinge on specialized materials, like polyethylene for plastic packaging, copper hardware for smart phones, and cotton fabric for jeans. In most cases, however, these materials are discarded even though they retain properties valuable for other products and processes. How these materials are managed before and after they are put to use shapes their environmental footprint — be it carbon emissions, water usage, or plastic pollution.
To understand how to minimize the environmental impact of materials, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) will survey the materials employed across Nevada so it can develop programs that target specific waste streams and create value for objects currently sent to landfills. The primary means of doing this is by recycling materials from products that have fulfilled their original use or that have already been reused for alternative purposes. Once it has surveyed the composition of materials in Nevada, NDEP will research how best to manage the impact of materials during their lifecycle. Through guidance and partnerships with various industries, NDEP can support programs that innovate how Nevada employs its materials.