An industry is a collection of companies that operate in a related set of goods or services, which are eventually sold to purchasers. In any country, numerous industries work together to produce the necessary goods and services needed and desired for its people. By convention, industries are divided into three groups:
• Primary industries are involved in the collection, utilizing, and harvesting of resources directly produced by physical processes (e.g., mining and smelting).
• Secondary industries deal with manufacturing as they take raw materials, convert them in various ways, and produce tangible goods (e.g., automobile factories).
• Tertiary industries produce services for individuals and groups (e.g., advertising).
These three groups are distinctive regarding the amount of pollution produced in their operations. Some sectors (such as tourism) have a close relationship with the environment, whereas others have adopted a particularly proactive environmental response (such as the automobile industry with regard to recycling old cars) and still others continue to have a noticeable detrimental impact on the environment (such as the automobile industry with regard to exhaust emissions). Since the largest impact from pollution (and associated waste products) is produced within the secondary industries, this sector will be the topic of discussion in this article. Most economists commonly refer to the secondary industries (the manufacturing sector) as
"industry," whereas the primary industries are usually referred to as the agricultural and mining sector, and the tertiary industries as the service sector.
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