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About waste, recycling and Zero Waste lifestyle

Garbage everywhere you turn: Live a life without trash! It can be done!

Nela Štefanová
16.Aug 2019
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2 minutes
Zvířata díky odpadkům v moři často umírají

In the sea, in the oceans, in drinking water or in the bodies of animals. Signs of plastic and waste can be found everywhere. The sight of beaches and islands flooded with plastic or dead animals is alarming not only for the ecologists and conservationists. But since we don't live by the sea or on an island, our garbage is picked up like by a large orange truck every Wednsday or Saturday, disappearing as though by magic, and we tell ourselves that by sorting waste, we've done our best for our planet. According to the movement Bezobalu ("Unwrapped"), however, mere recycling is not enough.

Přírodní bezobalová kosmetika
Odpadem zamořené moře.
Zero waste prodejna

“Sorted waste can't always be recycled. Moreover, plastic loses some of its properties during recycling and its recyclability is therefore limited. It follows that if we tolerate the massive flood of packaging that keeps coming on, thinking we'll solve it later by sorting our waste, we will continue to produce large amounts of waste,”

said Anna Veselovská from the organization Bezobalu ("Unwrapped")for Packaged products can be purchased in both food and drug stores. Almost every product has its own packaging or reinforced foil, and it is mainly this kind of production that entails high costs and environmental impacts, i.e. the production of CO2. Recycling alone, even if it is consistent, is not a 100 % response to the current “plastic” crisis.

Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč
Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč, Praha 7

Zero Waste, taken literally, is more of an ideal or a vision for the contemporary man. In this concept, one-off items are being replaced by reusable ones.

“The point is to embark on a journey in which we are aware of the context from the very beginning. We reject things and goods that are unnecessary or poorly usable,”

Veselovská added.

Relief not only for our wallet

Many people who adhere to this lifestyle enjoy a cleaner household and accept small restrictions such as wearing a reusable coffee cup in the purse or going shopping with their own bag made of cloth. Effective, aesthetic, practical.

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Začněte například s omezením plastových sáčků.
Začněte například s omezením plastových sáčků. Source: Pinterest

“It will be a relief not only your waste bin, but also for your wallet. In short, you might even start enjoying it begin to look at the traffic around you with fresh eyes. Cloth bags for vegetables will accompany you on your shopping trips for several years, perhaps you'll eventually learn to sew them, or you'll opt for beautiful organic cotton bags with hand embellishments to support your local seamstresses and organic cotton growing,”

said Veselovská.

Step by step

There are plenty of steps you can take on your path to fulfill Zero waste ideals. You should stick mainly to the five basic principles, which are arranged in the form of a pyramid.

REJECT what you really don't need. REDUCE your consumption, be resource friendly - it can be water, clothes, fuel. RE-USE - learn to use things of lasting value, avoid one-time use, treat things sparingly. RECYCLING - this value is almost at the bottom of the Zero waste pyramid, because it's really primarily about not producing waste. The aim is to recycle everything that can be recycled, but at the same time recycle less, not more! And the last rule - COMPOST!

Waste as enemy no.1

There are many environmental impacts of garbage. One of the possible impacts can are the gases that may arise from landfilling bio-waste.

“It is pollution of the environment - garbage in itself, but also substances that are released into water and soil during its decomposition. One of them is the so-called microplastics, released by the decomposition of plastics and bioplastics,”

Veselovská concluded. In the Pacific Ocean, there's a whole plastic island of incredible proportions. According to press reports, it expands over the area of approximately four times the size of present-day Germany or six times that of France.

According to a report by the Czech Statistical Office, 2,845,077 tonnes of municipal waste were produced in the Czech Republic in 2002, while in 2017 it was 3,642,958 tonnes. The amount of municipal waste per person between 2002 and 2016 increased from 279 kg to 339 kg per year.

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