Hi, I hope you can help me with something. I live in Italy and we have a pretty efficient recycling system; we divide our trash into paper, plastic/aluminium, glass, organic and non recyclable. I was wondering if living zero waste in this case would mean just keeping my 'non recyclable' bin empty (because the rest is being recycled), or if I'd have to reduce all of my trash regardless of the type. Thanks for your time!
Zero waste is not recycling all your waste, it’s not generating them at all!
The reason for this is all the smaller bits and pieces to our waste system then we think about. For example, a truck has to come by to properly dispose of all the waste. This would lead to burning of fossil fuels (at least mostly in the US) and would require truck parts that do not get recycled/reduced to build the truck.
Or, a recycling plant requires a lot of energy to recycle the used materials into brand new ones, then it uses more energy delivering the new materials to places that will use it, and then they will use a lot of energy delivering this product to consumers.
Having a great recycling system is a great way to start your zero waste journey AND brings a sense of reusing materials sustainably. But, a zero waste lifestyle would eliminate the need for these materials in the first place.
Thank you for the question!