Zero Waste – a new trend among consumers
Taking care of natural environment has taken a new dimension and has become a new fashion or even a lifestyle becoming popular in Poland. Consumers more and more often use reusable bags, request to pack parcels bought on the Internet “in the spirit of zero waste”, put sliced products bought in stores in oneselves containers or choose products with the least amount of packaging.
Zero Waste (ZW) is a new trend that is rapidly growing among Polish consumers, changing their everyday consumption habits. The essence of ZW is to avoid producing waste and not contributing to creating it. This is a great challenge, especially for people who buy products in stores – that is to say for most of us. Sometimes it is also called Less Waste, meaning limiting the generation of waste as much as possible.
Zero Waste Consumer
A Zero Waste person do shopping with his own shopping bags and sacks for fruits and vegetables. He packes products sold by weight into his own jars or containers, often undertaking a difficult task of convincing salesmen that the scales can be tared and weigh the products together with the containers. Such a person buys loose products or in large quantities to avoid big amount of packaging. When buying online he selects stores which reuse cartons or fillings and can pack a package without a bubble wrap. Many zero waste activists went a step further. Industrial livestock has a very negative impact on the natural environment and increases the greenhouse effect so they gave up animal products in their life – especially in diet.
Zero waste activists and supporters communicate and share experiences especially through the Internet. There are plenty of various groups on social media gathering tens of thousands of members. There are also quite often organized Zero Waste Fairs in various cities in Poland.
Zero Waste listed in the 2030 Agenda
The ZW approach directly addresses the 12th Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (especially: 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse) and requirements of the Directive (EU) Of The European Parliament and of the Council on packaging and packaging waste. At the same time it is a consumer movement – an element of responsible consumption. The recognition of that could bring many benefits to entrepreneurs in Poland.
Benefits for entrepreneurs
In addition to reducing costs associated with the re-use of raw materials and packaging, companies moving towards ZW minimize the amount of generated waste, which directly affects the environment in their environment – by reducing their quantity and frequency of garbage disposal. It is an opportunity for partnership and cross-sector cooperation with local NGOs by donating products instead of throwing them away – ZW could be re-using them for a different purpose than originally intended. It is an offer to minimize the amount of packaging products – Zero Waste is about packing more ecologically and using less, avoiding materials that cannot be re-used or which are not biodegradable. The transition to ZW can spread a good image of the company because consumers are looking for companies which understand their approach and remain loyal to such suppliers, stores or brands.
The ZW community exchanges experience very fast, shares glorious examples and recommends products, companies and brands among its members. An online store where you can do “market” shopping and which does not pack every product into a separate disposable bag? A drugstore that sends organic household chemistry in “second hand” jars? Laundry, which at the client’s request does not wrap the coat in plastic foil? A shop that sells bamboo toothbrushes? These examples are immediately spread because they are still niche. It’s worth to appreciate this trend and take advantage of it, gaining a good PR and loyal customers. ZW is a win-win to all of us: companies, consumers, natural environment and future generations.
Fundacja Dobry Rozwój
Last Updated on March 15, 2021 by Karolina Ampulska