REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS, A “ZERO WASTE” INITIATIVE
Some might wonder why we should seek to reduce waste when we could stop producing things that increase waste in the first place. Despite all the active movements and best intentions in the world to achieve this goal, a world without waste seems utopian at the moment. However, this does not mean that concrete actions are not being made or cannot be done to limit the damage.
First of all, it is no secret that to reduce our waste on a global and large scale, the the problem must be addressed at the source by politicians and industrialists (review production methods, use of raw materials, distribution channels, etc.).
But, while waiting for the authorities to act, why not initiate, as communities and individuals, noble zero-waste initiatives to create an impact. Through simple gestures, we can reduce the amount of waste generated by small businesses, households, and individual uses and thus limit our impact on the planet.
This is demonstrated by @sustainableliving_ig (https://www.instagram.com/ sustainableliving_ig/) #ZEROWASTECHAMP (https://contests.sus.live/zerowastechamp) eco-friendly advocates through their videos depicting their contribution to writing waste out of their existence.
@Tenerife horse rescue (https://www.instagram.com/p/CW-1unjgF8k/), the ecological sanctuary for horses and animals, is a perfect example of communities creating their zero-waste initiative. As a self-built farm, every action is environmentally friendly. Whether it’s composting, reducing food waste, or recycling, they embrace a zero-waste lifestyle and even promote it around them, contributing to the circular economy.
We also found that through various green actions, some young people are increasingly engaging in sustainable art, sustainable shopping, and the circular economy whenever they can.
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN REDUCING SINGLE-USE PLASTICS BE A “ZERO WASTE” INITIATIVE?
Single-use plastics, also known as disposable plastics, are used only once before being dumped into landfills. These include items such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and most food packaging.
Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are produced each year, most of which cannot be recycled. We need to cut down on the amount of plastic we use and move towards zero waste initiatives. Here are a few examples of how we can all engage in zero waste initiatives;
move towards environmentally and long-lasting eco-friendly products and services
develop technologies to recycle plastic more efficiently.
Decline what you don’t need and know you would throw away (unwanted mail, trinkets, or free goodies at a fair, for example)
Reduce your consumption and be minimalist as much as possible (furniture, clothes, accessories…)
• Reuse by replacing any disposable product with a reusable equivalent (this includes shopping with reusable containers) and buying second-hand.
Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse (so there are very few materials left to recycle) like @camptukwane and her community whose role is to protect our planet from the dangers of plastic.
Compost the rest (organic waste: fruit and vegetable peelings, but also dryer lint, nail and hair clippings, sweepings, etc.)
Donate or sell your pre-loved, yet no longer used items in thrift stores.
Globally, countries are encouraged to follow the lead of Sweden, which has introduced a ban on single-use plastics. Starting in November 2022, to reinforce this initiative, Sweden has implemented an additional tax on single-use plastics such as food containers and cups, with a target of a full ban in 2024.
Anything small can contribute greatly and create a huge impact. What about your zero-waste initiative?