Zero Waste

What is ZeroWaste?

Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. Currently, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. In a zero waste system, material will be reused until the optimum level of consumption. The definition adopted by the zero waste international alliance (zwia) is

Zero waste: the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

Zero waste refers to waste prevention as opposed to end-of-life waste management. It is a whole-systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste. Zero waste encompasses more than eliminating waste through recycling and reuse, it focuses on restructuring production and distribution systems to reduce waste. Zero waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target. Zero waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating wastes.

Advocates expect that government regulation is needed to influence industrial choices over product and packaging design, manufacturing processes, and material selection.

Advocates say eliminating waste decreases pollution, and can also reduce costs due to the reduced need for raw materials.