What is ‘zero waste’?


EarthSavvy says

‘… “zero waste” means sending as little waste to landfill as possible. Yes, we recycle, but recycling is not a magic bullet – it’s a hugely energy-intensive and polluting process where some products (we’re looking at you, plastic) are down-graded into lower quality products and will eventually end up in landfill. So, recycling is not the best option.
But, never fear…the 6 R’s are here to save the day.
In order, they are: Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Recycle. Rot.’

The Rubbish Trip says

“Here at The Rubbish Trip we describe our lifestyle as ‘zero waste’. However, we’re not the first people, nor the last, to note that the term ‘zero waste’ can be fraught, confusing and potentially misleading. We’re constantly refining the way that we understand and communicate what it means to live ‘zero waste’. If we pare it right down to its basics, for us, zero waste living is about striving to chuck less stuff out – whether into a rubbish bin, a recycling bin, a farm pit or the general environment, or down the drain. We seek to achieve this by moving our behaviour up the waste hierarchy so that we invite less stuff into our life that we might end up discarding, i.e. we try to get better at Refusing, Replacing, Reducing, Reusing and Repairing.
We think it’s important to emphasise that, from our perspective, zero waste is not (and never has been) a label to define what we or anyone else has achieved – everyone in society still directly and indirectly produces waste in some way. Rather, zero waste defines a continuing aspiration that we are working towards – we set the bar high so that we constantly push ourselves to do better, be more creative, and to innovate beyond what we might have thought were possible if we strived for a less ambitious target. That is why we choose to take a ‘zero waste approach’ rather than a ‘90% less waste approach’, even if the latter more closely describes the waste reduction that we have achieved in our own life.”

Zero Waste International Alliance says:

“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.
Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

What does ‘zero waste’ mean to you?
What or who have you discovered that helps you move closer or ‘hit’ zero waste ‘land’?

Photo credits: Unsplash


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