Responsible Aquaculture and the Future – Regal Springs Tilapia
At Regal Springs, we are committed to upholding a zero-waste policy. This means that we work to ensure all waste we create is either repurposed, recycled or composted. None of our waste is ever burned, buried or otherwise disposed of improperly.
We are committed to this policy and accept our responsibility to limit our impact on the planet. After all, it is not just the environment that suffers from poor sustainability practices—marginalized communities often receive waste from industrialized countries, hurting their livelihoods, homes and health.
With this in mind, we want to analyze what it truly takes for a company to adopt a zero-waste policy, and to examine Regal Springs’ own efforts in this challenge.
What is a Zero-Waste Policy?
Although recycling may get all the credit, reusing and reducing are also incredibly important when it comes to living sustainably. A zero-waste policy is a commitment to eliminating needless waste from the start. You can then take remaining byproducts and turn them into useful products, including fuels, feeds, fertilizers and even clothing.
Why Are Zero Waste Policies So Important?
They help communities. The term “to throw away” is a misleading one, as everything must go somewhere. When we are careless with the design of our homes, or inconsiderate in the way we create products and food, we are simply moving waste around the globe. This lack of planning is a burden that often lands on those least able to deal with it. Because of this carelessness, lower-income communities are forced to consume food grown in toxic soil from buried landfills, or to inhale the smoke of burning garbage that is emitting noxious fumes.
They reduce waste. Recycling plastic packaging from groceries is a great way to continue the lifecycle of that waste by keeping it from joining other plastics in a landfill. But what if the packaging didn’t incorporate plastic from the beginning? Or what if it was made of a more natural material that could easily dissolve into the soil when it was time to toss? A zero-waste policy uses ingenuity and inspiration to find uses for each and every scrap of unneeded product.
A zero-waste policy can sound intimidating, even to some seasoned environmentalists. However, when broken down into small, achievable tasks and goals, adopting a zero-waste policy can be much easier and more rewarding than you ever considered. Such tasks include:
- Reducing waste by planning ahead.
- Cutting down on toxicity by refusing to bury any hazardous materials.
- Getting creative by upcycling fashion, beauty, health and food scraps.
Furthermore, consider these points: Can any excess organic matter be composted or turned into biodiesel? Can broken equipment be repaired or renewed? Adapt a more proactive mentality and do away with the “it’s just too hard” mindset. It might seem tedious in the short term to be hyper-conscious of everything you dispose of, but the long-term benefits—for yourself, the environment and the world—are more than worth a little inconvenience.
How Regal Springs Upholds its Zero-Waste Policy
Regal Springs takes its zero-waste policy seriously—barely a scale is tossed when Regal Springs Tilapia is processed. Only 35% of each fish can be used as Regal Springs fillets and loins, but the remaining 65% of byproducts is repurposed into something useful. The fish skin is tanned in Indonesia and transformed into luxury goods manufactured in Italy. The scales are pulverized and added to cosmetics to give lipsticks a pearlescent glow. Fish solids and oil become fish oil capsules, supplements and even biodiesel, which fuels Regal Springs trucks. It truly is the circle of life.
And the trimmings? These bulk up compost until it is bursting with nutrients. It is then distributed to farmers, free of charge. Every single part of each fish gets used—from fillet to bones and scales to excess trimmings.
The next time you’re wondering what happens to all the waste generated by the food industry, you can seek out food products that have been sourced by a company with a zero-waste policy of their own. Regal Springs Tilapia has been transformed from fish tacos and a quick and healthy supper into a symbol of how we can all reduce our impact on the environment. All it takes is a little planning and creative thinking.
What do you think of zero-waste policies? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know if you have other ways you think we could reuse our Tilapia byproducts!
Photo Credits: Regal Springs
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