Hot take The Zero Waste movement is failing.
Some key talking points
1. Barrier to entry The environmental movement has struggled with inclusivity and accessibility since its inception. Geographic location can heavily impact one’s ability to practice zero waste.
Bulk food stores, farmers markets and zero-waste shops sprout up in trendy metropolitan cities like San Francisco, but are rarely sighted in rural towns.
2. Trendy products = more consumption Pressure on companies to be more sustainable is seemingly a victory for environmentalists. However, as consumer-centric businesses seize upon Zero Waste trends, the advertising has paradoxically become about consuming more, rather than less (there are exceptions).
Alternatives to Zero Waste
- Diet Reducing consumption is largely considered the single most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Second to that is purchasing local foods and unprocessed foods.
- Transportation Reduce reliance on car and air travel. Use public transportation, or bike. Or, you can never leave your house again because... covid.
- Fast Fashion Avoid the incredible footprint of fast fashion. Buy second hand, stay informed. Unlearn the tendency to purchase quantity over quality.
- Activism The climate crisis was caused by individual consumers. To change what you can’t directly control, become involved in activism. Looking for a place to start? Try Fridays For Future or Sunrise Movement.
Proposal Instead of the Zero Waste movement, let’s call it the Low Impact movement. Names are powerful, and not only is this phrasing more attainable, it is less self-righteous and exclusionary.
This is a beautiful movement that has lost its authenticity. The more genuine we can make it, the more impactful and widespread it will become.
Dig deeper → 7 min
The scoop As consumer goods go green, PepsiCo announced last week its plan to further develop and scale the world’s first recyclable paper bottle.
Paper bottles PepsiCo will begin testing on the new paper bottle in 2021. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and is designed to be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.
- We need innovation and ambition in the food & beverage space, this is a good place to start
- Limiting the amount of waste in the ocean is always a win, but Pepsi still has a long way to go
- Organizations are building new, innovative ways to clean up Pepsi’s mess.
- This is definitely a bit of greenwashing
- The announcement calls for R&D testing in 2021, so we may not see paper bottles on the shelf for some time.
- Furthermore, Pepsi did not elaborate on its major paper proposal’s inevitable impact on trees.
- Will there be ecological offsets for the increased production of PepsiCo recyclable paper bottles?
Dig deeper → >1 min