Zero Waste: State of the art

Sunday, Jul 7, 2013
Zero Waste: State of the art

Waste is matter that has been discarded by someone for some reasons. Waste quantities usually increase with the economic growth and wealth of a society. The idea of “Zero Waste” is a philosophy that goes beyond the idea of reuse and recycling of selected fractions of waste.

It is intended to cut this vicious circle of consumer goods ending as waste by changing inherent habits and life styles of societies. This may include simple measures such as banning plastic bags and disposable dishes in restaurants, replacing the vast use of plastic-bottled water by the use of water dispensers with refillable containers at home and in offices and many, many more. Consumers can contribute considerably by changing their consumption pattern consciously.
On the production side an extended producer responsibility may consider the flow of resources as an integral part of their product design.
And – as an overarching brace - on political level necessary action needs to be taken to make things happen by introducing necessary favorable frame conditions, incentives and – where necessary even sanctions.
Throughout the month of July our section “Theme of the Month” will inform you about promising approaches that could contribute to a Zero Waste reality in future. SWEEP-Net members from different fields present their approaches, expertise and experiences.
We would welcome your contribution with own experiences, good practices or even your suggestions and recommendations to the presented cases. Please contact us at

We hope you enjoy reading
Your SWEEP-Net Team

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The content of these articles does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of SWEEP-Net or the GIZ. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in these articles lies entirely with the author(s).