Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Zero Waste - Introduction

Zero Waste is a movement to emulate natural cyclical processes where no waste exists. It will require to re-design our resource-use system. Every stage of any resource-use process must be so designed as to ensure that nothing is generated as an output, deliberately or otherwise, that does not become a useful input into another process. Any output that is destined for land, sea or air should not be a threat to planetary, animal or plant health. It seeks replace waste management with resource management.

While this is a laudible aspiration it is difficult to see how the transition from our current consumerist society could be managed as many items have been designed for a limited lifespan and will require disposal. However, this initiative provides a solution to pollution and depleting natural resources.

The movement gained publicity and reached a peak in 1998-2002, and since then has been moving from "theory into action" by focusing on how a "Zero Waste Community" is structured and behaves. The website of the Zero Waste International Alliance has a listing of communities across the globe that have created public policy to promote Zero Waste practices. See also the Eco-Cycle website for examples of how this large nonprofit is leading Boulder County, Colorado on a Zero Waste path and watch a 6-minute video about the Zero Waste big picture. Finally, there is a USA Zero Waste organization named the GrassRoots Recycling Network that puts on workshops and conferences about Zero Waste activities.

Extracted from Wikipedia

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