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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] The Path to Zero Waste

by Earl Lawrence Gamil | 26-09-2021 14:10 Comments 2 recommendations 0



The idea of zero-waste may seem straightforward at first, but it can be hard both in theory and practice. Recycling and upcycling may seem simple at first as we just need to continue recycling to achieve zero waste, but it is not the true face of zero waste. Even though this statement might dismay us, it is not impossible. The path to a zero-waste society is only possible if we cooperate and make decisions that would affect us for the better.


If the idea of a hard path towards a zero-waste society is somewhat fearful to you, don’t worry a lot of people are. In order for us to be fully zero-waste, we need to adapt to this lifestyle because the essence of zero waste is to make sure that we produce little to none waste; and this not only applies to us, normal citizens but also to big corporations. Before we delve into that argument, we should analyze the idea of zero-waste in both theory and practice. 


The current idea of zero waste is not about zero waste itself, but a lifestyle movement. A simple google search would let you know that Bea Johnson is credited for the zero-waste movement. Technically, Paul Palmer should be coined for the invention of this idea. The only reason he is not credited is that he is used it in the industry. When he introduced this idea to the industry in the 1970s, he suggested that emerging companies in the emerging Silicon Valley should use valuable “clean” chemicals. From the study of the ecologist Willi Haas, only 4 gigatonnes out 41 gigatonnes garbage are being recycled every year. This number is really low. Even though the zero waste movement is genuine at its core, we are pointing in the wrong direction. Companies are the ones that take up most of the garbage. If these companies started to use better materials that can be recycled easily then we can have a better world.


Then, what can we do for this to happen? In order to make sure that companies would use better materials, we should support the ones that are using it already. This might be shallow to some but giving platform and support to companies that actually care about the environment would send the message to large companies that the people want better handling of materials. 


A lot of us think that our small actions from the current zero waste movement really matters, it does for us people but for these companies, the movement we have right now is just us clearing their mistake for them. The true zero-waste movement can only be achieved if both consumers and producers are held accountable for the trash blocking the path to zero waste.


Sources:

Mauch, C. (2016). A FUTURE WITHOUT WASTE? Zero Waste in Theory and Practice. Introduction: The Call for Zero Waste, 3(1), 5–20.


2 Comments

Joon Mentor

  • Joon Mentor says :
    Hello Earl,
    this is your mentor Joon.

    Yes, the idea of Zero Waste is not just about a single action, but it is more like an
    lifestyle just as you have mentioned. Though it is close to impossible to achieve
    100 per cent Zero Waste, we can get close to that lifestyle by urging people and
    companies to follow it. There are many different ways such as telling them to
    use eco-friendly or recyclable materials or reduce waste emission during production
    and so on. One thing is certain, each one of us should share similar idea so the
    whole society can head towards same direction.

    Well read your article, and hope to see more from you!
    Posted 28-09-2021 12:59

Vivian Nabisere

  • Vivian Nabisere says :
    Indeed, Achieving zero waste requires collective effort. Thank you Earl for such a beautiful article.
    Posted 27-09-2021 08:37

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