Have you found yourself holding onto a household item that is broken or no longer needed, or packaging that you can't recycle or compost, just because you can’t stand to “throw it away?”
Are you an avid recycler and composter, so the only trash you create looks like a collection of plastics that cannot be used for anything except maybe a modern art piece?
Sometimes it looks like these items really should be able to be recycled but those pesky recyclers just won’t take it. Who should hold responsibility?
Right now we are still the ones holding the bag…box…or bottle. Consumers and governments are given the responsibility for these items at the end of the pipe—with no say in how they are made or designed.
There is much debate about the “best” way to manage waste, but there is no disagreement that the least expensive and least environmentally-damaging waste is the waste that is never created. Yes, zero waste is better than recycling or composting.
The most efficient place to reduce waste and encourage reuse, reduction, recycling, and composting is at the product development stage. This is the most economical way to minimize the environmental impact of the product.
Truth is, right now your best efforts (and ours) to recycle and compost everything we can will not stop our trash cans from filling up. However, there are ways to change the way these products are designed and manufactured, and you have the chance to influence the process!