Wasting Away

I have vivid memories of going to the tip with my family when I was a kid and being fascinated by the huge mountains of rubbish piled up around me. It was a regular thing we did together, and we thought it was great fun. I knew this place was where all the stuff we didn’t want any longer ended up, but I never saw any problem with it. Now I understand the implications of dumping garbage into landfill. I dislike it with a passion, yet I still do it, although the amount of waste I dispose of is significantly less than it used to be, and is gradually decreasing, as I find better ways to recycle, reduce or eliminate the waste I generate. In nature, nothing is wasted. One organism’s waste becomes food or fuel for another. Many scientists believe we need to mimic these natural systems, and re-design the materials economy, so the waste of one system becomes the raw material for other systems, if we are to live sustainably on the Earth. But is the aim of zero waste possible, or even achievable on a global scale?

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