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Is “zero waste” a dream or a reality?
Is "zero waste" a dream or a reality?

Is “zero waste” a dream or a reality?

Due to the widespread use of plastic at present, the environment is being severely damaged. It is growing immeasurably. Managing this situation is a prime responsibility of all of us humans. Zero waste can be mentioned as a principle that works for that. Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention. It tries to reuse all products. But the question is whether it can be realized or just a dream.

Waste reduction, reuse and recycling do more than just eliminate waste. Mohamed Alamuti, Secretary of the NGO Natural Resources Organization, said that the world has taken many actions regarding this concept. He also mentioned that the Iranian people have personally worked for that. It is a matter of pleasure that the related concept has recently been applied to the field of education as well. He further said that the most important stage of waste management is the separation at the source which if implemented properly affects the entire process. Achieving “zero waste” is not only about people’s behavioral and attitudinal changes, but also their lifestyles. He also explained that we need a set of procedures to achieve the above goal.

Mentioning the cultural aspect as the most important infrastructure for a zero-waste lifestyle, he stated that creating a cultural infrastructure in a high-waste manufacturing plant would reduce the generation of waste in the production process. Governments should consider incentives to encourage citizens as they personally adopt a “zero waste” waste lifestyle.

Improper waste management

Today, one of the most controversial problems in the Ceylon, is the improper management of hazardous waste, which has caused environmental pollution and adversely affects the quality and quantity of biological resources too (water, soil). Hassan Pasandideh, director of the Department of Environment’s (DOE) Office of Waste Management, has announced that improper waste management is costing the country 448 trillion riyals (nearly $1.7 billion) for reconstruct the environmental damage by the waste.

European countries produce between 300- 350 grams of waste , while in Iran it is 700 grams and sometimes up to one kilogram, of which only a very small fraction is recycled. The situation is worse in the capital city of Tehran as Per capita of waste dumplings in Tehran is 750 to 800 grams. According to statistics, Tehran produces about 8,000 tons of waste per day, of which only nearly 17% is recycled.
In Iran, it requires creating a culture of promotion that starts in schools, or governments adopt incentives and penalties to reduce waste production and make source separation a culture among Iranian families.


By : Subodha Charuni Chithrananda
       University of Peradeniya
       Department Of Sociology