People in a park picking up trash and waste in the environment for disposal.

Waste

Reducing waste and achieving zero landfill status

  • While reducing waste is 3M’s first choice for waste management, reusing, recycling, and composting can also fuel the circular economy. We follow 3M’s Waste Management Standard and regularly review results against goals and tracking metrics for each of our operational geographic areas. 

    Our zero landfill goal is intended to drive our sites to increase product and process optimization, on-site and offsite recycling, and composting. 3M considers a manufacturing site to be zero landfill when no byproduct has been sent directly to a landfill in a full calendar year.1

    In addition, our product development teams strive to design products that are durable, refillable, and made with less material whenever possible, all with an eye on reducing waste.

  1. Waste, as defined here, does not include ash generated from 3M material sent to a waste-to-energy or incineration site controlled by a third party.

Progress toward our waste goals

Since 2005, 3M has achieved a 24.3% reduction in waste, indexed to net sales.

  • Icon of a public trash receptacle.
    0.58% toward our goal to:

    Reduce manufacturing waste by an additional 10%, indexed to sales, by 2025

  • Icon of a hand dropping trash into a trashcan striked out.
    44.9% toward our goal to:

    Achieve zero landfill status at more than 30% of manufacturing sites by 2025

Key impacts in 2022

  • 3M Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) Program

    An industry first, 3M’s 3P program, developed in 1975, is based on the belief preventing pollution is more environmentally effective, more socially acceptable, and more economical than treatment. The program has prevented 2.88 million short tons of pollutants and saved over $2.37 billion.

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    We renewed our membership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate the movement toward using recycled and renewable raw materials in our product and package designs.

  • Recycling Partnership

    In the U.S., 3M continued to engage with The Recycling Partnership through financial support as a corporate partner. The Recycling Partnership uses public-private partnerships to improve residents’ access to recycling at the local level.