Zero Waste Ideology Drives the Refill Revolution
The Refill Revolution is based on a Zero Waste philosophy that embraces reuse of products and reduction of the amount of material we throw away.
What are the Goals of Zero Waste?
Proponents of Zero Waste note that “waste” is not inevitable and there are environmental and economical benefits to minimizing it. They stress “reuse” over “recycling” and address resource use from the design of products, to their utilization, and finally to end-of-life product management.
Traditional production systems are one-way and linear – going from the extraction of resources, manufacturing of goods, product use and then ultimate disposal. Zero Waste seeks to redesign our systems to be cyclical, so there is no such thing as “waste”, products have longer lives, and discards are either designed out completely or fed back into the production cycle as raw material.
We can all live this way through small shifts in our mindset and daily activities. The alarming evidence of the effects that our throw-away culture is having on the natural world suggest that we should rethink the way we purchase and consume.
The truth is, our convenience-driven culture and our current food and beverage delivery systems are set up to actually encourage waste and discourage reusable products. While recycling stuff like single-use cups, bottles, bags and packaging is better than tossing them in a landfill, it’s not the best long-term solution. The benefits of recycling single-use items are often over-hyped by food, beverage and packaged goods companies to make you feel better about your consumption habits. We need a revolution to rethink disposables and make change happen.
A Zero Waste Solution For Cups and Bottles
The Refill Revolution encourages Zero Waste alternatives to the billions of disposable cups, bottles, bags, utensils, straws and food containers sent to landfills each year.
Disposable plastic bags lead to horrible waste and pollution problems. For reusable bags, we recommend alternatives made of either natural canvas or durable synthetic fabrics, such as rip-stop nylon. The revolution to ban plastic bags is spreading across the country. The next area to address is drinkware and foodware.
For reusable foodware and drinkware suitable for taking on the go, we recommend goods made with strong, lightweight, food-grade stainless steel. Unlike plastic, this material is completely non-toxic. Steel cups, bottles, foodware and utensils are designed to be reused thousands of times, to stay out of the waste stream. They can be passed forward to others, or fully recycled at the end of their useful life.
Definition of Zero Waste
The Zero Waste International Alliance offers this definition of Zero Waste: Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.
Zero Waste Video
The non-profit organization Eco-Cycle has created a useful and informative video that provides an in-depth look at the concept of Zero Waste. View the Zero Waste video.
Additional Zero Waste Related Links
The following organizations provide more detailed information about Zero Waste: