Zero waste is a mindset
What´s "zero waste" or "residuo cero""?
“Zero waste is the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse and recovery of products, packaging and materials without burning, and with no discharges to land, water or air that threaten the environment or human health…” According to Zero Waste International Alliance (2019)
Following, the main guidelines:
Refuse what we don’t need and change the way we produce and consume by redesigning business models, goods and packaging in order to reduce resource-use and waste
- Reduce and reuse
Minimise the quantity, toxicity and ecological footprint, reuse as much as possible.
- Preparation for reuse
Checking, cleaning or repairing operations, by which products or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be re-used without any other pre-processing
- Recycling/composting/anaerobic digestion
High quality material recovery from separately collected waste streams
- Material and chemical recovery
Technologies to recover materials from mixed waste into new valuable materials in an environmental sound way
- Residuals management
What cannot be recovered from mixed waste is biologically stabilised prior to landfilling
Options that don’t allow for material recovery, have high environmental impact and create lock in effects that threaten the transition to Zero Waste: waste to energy incineration, co-incineration, plastic to fuel, landfilling of non-stabilised waste, gasification, pyrolysis, illegal dumping, open burning and littering.
We need to start to think different and apply this criteria in every act of consumption we do. Apart from relevant aspects such as price, quality, logistic, we should ask our selves if our purchase complies with the zero waste new paradigm. For example: Can I avoid buying over packaged products? what about just packaged products? Can I avoid buying single use products? Can I reuse the waste or give it another use? Can I opt for another product made of a more eco friendly material?
Thinking different will become different behavior and good behavior is contagious, so that others do the same, including companies. It isnot that much effort. Lets be contagious, let´s be the change.