Well the name is self explanatory. Zero waste is just what you think it is. It’s simply all about Designing, Producing, Consuming, Re-Using and Recycling products without throwing anything away at the end of life.
This simplicity requires a major effort up front , at the Design. Because products must be designed for a continuous life or use and re-use. This will require re-manufacturing to be built into the design. Getting to a waste free world will require a total makeover of the global economy and the way we design stuff. This will lead to the Next Industrial Revolution.
By copying how nature works, where one species’ excrement is another’s food we will get to a multiple use/re-use mode of living. We’re not talking here about just cutting down on waste. We need to eliminate the entire concept of waste from cradle to grave. This old linear thinking of the past gives way to a circular economy, where nothing has an end of life as we currently think of it.
This vision is not a long way off in the future. The culmination of changing economics, of materials science evolution, waste disposal charges, technical advances, and consumer power – along with the growing desire to be green through Corporate Responsibility programmes – will make this a reality much sooner than you might think.