vitruta - Zero Waste 5R Approach

As an alternative to the produce-consume-dispose linear economy, a circular economy model has been created for a more sustainable life. There is no room for the concept of waste in a circular economy. The principle of this economic model has also revealed the concept of approaching zero waste.

“Zero Waste” is a goal defined as a waste prevention approach that includes preventing waste, using resources more efficiently, reducing the amount of waste generated, establishing an effective collection system, and recycling waste. Many organizations focus on recycling instead of the higher levels in the zero waste hierarchy, but the main goal in zero waste is to prevent waste generation at its source and try to reduce consumption.

As Vitruta, we adopted this process with the idea that it is necessary to prevent waste generation at the source and reduce consumption and created the Vitruta 5R Approach, which can also be a guide for our suppliers. The way to adopt zero waste operation is through these principles.

What are the 5Rs?


The most important step of the zero waste approach is not to produce waste. Therefore, methods that will change consumption habits should be adopted in order to prevent any process that will cause waste generation.

Design your products with reusable, recyclable, durable, compostable, sustainable content and purchase from suppliers that take these principles into consideration. Make decisions in line with the zero waste hierarchy in design processes. When determining product ingredients, remember that the life cycle of the final product must serve the principles of sustainability and circular economy.

Review step by step at which points you can make adjustments/improvements in your production processes, create instructions if necessary and restructure your system to minimize waste generation.

Establish an evaluation mechanism by obtaining information about your suppliers' environmentally friendly practices. Provide feedback on their approach to waste generation and encourage continuous improvement. Do not purchase from those who do not implement the necessary practices. Re-evaluate your needs and look for environmentally friendly alternatives to every product you buy.

Identify processes that cause unnecessary consumption. Identify the materials that prevent you from building a closed-loop system and phase out their use.

Adopt systems that will support and encourage the local economy and create policies in this regard.


The second step in adapting to zero waste operation is to reduce waste at its source. You can reduce your waste at the source by using products that have a long lifespan, are made of sustainable materials, and have the opportunity to be reused. Discontinue the use of toxic, perishable, disposable products by reviewing their uses and other alternatives you can purchase.

Review your product and service purchasing processes so that the ecological footprint is minimized. Be careful to use materials that can be recycled over and over again.

Designing your operations to eliminate waste before it occurs will also increase your process efficiency.

Reconsider the sizes and quantities of your packaging and boxes, and pay attention to digitalization to reduce paper use in your offices and production areas.


The next step is to design and use products that have a long lifespan and can be used repeatedly. Likewise, the materials used in production processes should be selected from reusable materials. Make a list of the disposable items you purchase and consider which items can be replaced with reusable ones.

Ensure that the lifespan of the materials you use is extended in a way that preserves their function by performing maintenance and repairs.

Design your products so that they can be used in more than one function. Choose your pallets and shipping containers from reusable and durable materials. Be careful to choose reusable products instead of disposable materials in your food services.

Collect your organic waste separately, suitable for animal consumption, and donate it to shelters or relevant communities.


The next step in the zero waste approach is composting, which aims to return earth's resources to the soil. Organic waste constitutes a large percentage of the waste composition in garbage. Data on food waste comes to light not only as an environmental and economic problem, but also as a social problem. While 1 child dies of hunger every 5 seconds in the world, 300 tons of food are wasted every 5 seconds. 1/3 of the total food produced is lost or thrown away. 60% of the food waste generated is preventable. In order to prevent food waste, consumption habits must first be changed. Then, methods that will be beneficial for humans, animals and nature should be used, respectively.

Compost is the name given to the product resulting from the decay and composting of organic waste under the right conditions. You do not necessarily need a garden or a large area to compost food waste. There are many composting methods available.

Place the necessary collection equipment so that organic waste can be collected separately at its source. Collect your compostable waste separately from your other waste. Ensure separate collection at food service operations, break areas, and all other locations where organic waste is generated. Afterwards, if you have suitable space, you can obtain compost by anaerobic method, use the resulting compost as a soil enricher in your green areas and grow your own food products. Reintroduce your organic waste into the soil by choosing the method suitable for your business.


In the circular economy concept, recycling is the last link in the chain. After separation at source in the zero waste principle, the last resort for waste is recycling. Considering the energy consumed and resource use, recycling should come last in your environmentally friendly choices.

Make sure your materials, including organics, are reusable and recyclable.

Do not forget to collect waste separately in your offices and production areas so as not to contaminate each other.

When you send your waste for recycling, make sure it is actually recycled at its final destination. You can ask the carriers to whom you deliver your recyclable waste to conduct an inspection and find out which products your waste is used to convert.

Dictionary of Basic Principles

Closed Loop System: Instead of linear consumption, materials are used repeatedly in a closed loop within the facility.

Energy Conservation: Preventing unnecessary energy consumption by reducing waste and reusing/recycling/composting products.

Stakeholder Engagement: Working with your stakeholders to increase understanding of environmental issues, create behavioral change and influence perceptions. Promoting sustainable changes and systems.

Information & Development: Being informed about all processes and providing feedback for continuous progress.

Local Economies: Supporting the development and expansion of local organizations in production, repair and service processes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Durability: Choosing longer-lasting materials that can be used continuously and thus constantly using the available materials rather than constantly consuming new resources.

Precaution: Ensuring that all negative effects of a substance or activity that poses an environmental threat are prevented, even if there is no scientific evidence that it has a negative impact on the environment.