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The use of the term Zero Waste

The use of the term Zero Waste

When I think of Zero Waste, I think of a lifestyle, an approach, zero waste habits; I also think of a movement or the idea of embarking on a Zero Waste challenge... You can do zero waste grocery shopping, find zero waste solutions in your life.

But what about the term 'zero waste' to define a product?

For example, zero waste toilet paper, zero waste snack bags, zero waste soap.

It's a question that has been bothering me for a while. I really ponder it, especially when I see zero waste straws being sold (!)

Maybe I'm a bit too purist about the term? But honestly, I find it misused.

When you 'are' zero waste, it's because you don't produce waste.

So if we qualify a product as zero waste, it would mean that it does not produce waste. However, the product itself required raw materials (causing waste) and is waste in itself; its usage life will end at some point and it will need to be replaced. Unless making bags from an old pillowcase? Then I could conceive a bit more that my bag is zero waste.

And yet, we often see this term, proliferating in online stores:

'Buy my zero waste snack bags, my zero waste makeup pads, my zero waste toilet paper... Come, I have plenty of zero waste products to offer you!'

And that brings me to wonder...

We sell these zero waste things, but we don't sell zero waste Mason jars, or zero waste pants!


I don't know...

It seems to me that zero waste is more of a state than a thing.

But maybe we've reached that point? Maybe we need to denature the term and put it everywhere to talk about it more often? To awaken everyone to zero waste?

We apply it to everything: zero waste grocery shopping, zero waste festival, zero waste product line.

I see it as a trend. It's fashionable, so we want to attract people interested in the approach to be interested in everything surrounding the term.

But it still bothers me a bit.

In my opinion, we can make ecological, eco-responsible products; we can make products that fit into a zero waste approach, that help us in our zero waste lifestyle, but to make a zero waste product, it doesn't seem possible to me. That's why you'll never see Boaty define its products as zero waste. 😉

What do you think? For or against the labeling of a product as zero waste?

By M.eve

I enjoy questioning and informing myself, and write! It's through this blog that I take the time to speak to you transparently about my business or share what I learn or observe regarding environmental topics that concern us all.


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