(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Polaroid's Toxic Use and Waste Reduction (TUWR) program was voluntarily developed to reduce toxin use and waste sources as a means of preventing pollution. A critical element of the TUWR program was to assign environmental impact categories to the chemicals that Polaroid uses in its production lines. After evaluating each material based on toxic characteristics, physical attributes, and chemical properties, Polaroid assigns it to one of the following categories:
- I - known human carcinogens, teratogens, and toxic reproductive agents highly acutely toxic or a great environmental threat
- II - known animal carcinogens, teratogens, and toxic reproductive agents chronic toxicity or an environmental threat
- III - suspected animal carcinogens, moderately-toxic chemicals, or corrosive materials
- IV - chemicals that cannot be classified in I, II, or III
- V - other materials such as plastic, paper, and cardboard
Based on this classification, Polaroid targets chemicals for either reduction (I and II) or recycling (III, IV, and V). As new chemical information becomes available, Polaroid evaluates and reclassifies its chemicals as appropriate. New chemicals are assessed before they can be introduced into production lines.
Polaroid uses incentive plans to encourage the reduction of category I and II materials and the recycling of category III and IV materials in production lines. In addition, reduction and recycling goals are factored into each program manager's performance evaluations.
Although various regulations have established chemical lists, none meet the requirements of Polaroid. By comprehensively addressing and grouping chemicals specifically for its activities, Polaroid ensures that all its materials are included. Managers have a reliable and comprehensive source for identifying which chemicals should be eliminated and which can be managed through recycling.