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Microsoft announces plan to produce 'zero waste' by 2030

The company said it's also encouraging employees to reduce their own carbon footprints. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The company said it's also encouraging employees to reduce their own carbon footprints. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Software and technology giant Microsoft announced a plan Tuesday to produce zero waste within the next decade.

President Brad Smith said the goal is to produce zero waste in Microsoft's "direct operations, products and packaging" by 2030.

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"To address our own waste creation, Microsoft will reduce nearly as much waste as we generate while reusing, repurposing or recycling our solid, compost, electronics, construction and demolition, and hazardous wastes," he wrote in a blog post.

An estimated 11 billion tons of solid waste is produced each year that accounts for 5% of global carbon emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Microsoft's largest office complexes produced almost 3,200 metric tons of waste last year.

Microsoft said it plans to build "circular centers" to increase reuse and recycling of hardware, eliminate single-use plastics for packaging, and manufacture 100% recyclable packaging and 100% recyclable surface devices by 2030. The company is also encouraging employees to reduce their own carbon footprints.

"By 2030, we will divert at least 90% of the solid waste headed to landfills and incineration from our campuses and data centers," Smith wrote.

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Microsoft's plan does not address e-waste, which accounts for electronics products at the end of their life-cycle. People discarded 53 million metric tons of e-waste last year, according to the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership.

Microsoft also committed last month to a joint initiative to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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