Pollution prevention: progress towards sustainable development?
Emphasis in recent years on pollution prevention (P2) is being driven both by the limits to what can be achieved by traditional "end-of-pipe" pollution control methods and by the rise in attention to the concept of sustainable development. P2 strategies have been employed to realise reductions in toxic chemical use, waste, accidental release, and worker exposure, which can simultaneously reap environmental, human health, and economic benefits. P2 is therefore a means of making progress towards sustainable development. With the evolution of development theory as a reference framework, this paper explores the concept and application of "sustainable development" as operationalised through industrial P2 approaches. An analysis is performed on how progress towards sustainable development is influenced by P2 strategies, as well as how that progress is affected by the strengths and weaknesses of sustainable development as a development approach.
Keywords: pollution prevention, sustainable development, development theory, technology