Zero waste isn’t an easy thing to do. If you have to buy everything without packaging, eat your vegetables in their entirety (with seeds, stems and even if they’re flawed), never again can you purchase a bottle or PET bottle, you’ll feel like you ended up somewhere in the Middle Ages.
There are indeed already stores that offer their products without packaging (you have to bring your own containers) and that’s a great and responsible thing. Because recycling also costs energy (returning, transporting, grinding and processing into a new product). But we can’t all be holier than the Pope.
In many parts of the world, waste separation is already a thing. The categories of glass, paper and biodegradable waste already have their own containers. More and more often, plastic also has its own bin to be reused. The rest is often separated even further in smart factories, but in many countries this isn’t the case yet, and residual waste is burned.
In the Netherlands, there is one initiative that takes the zero waste principle and deserves to be emulated. In Retourettes, waste is neatly separated beforehand in a variety of categories. Plastic bottles aren’t put together with PET bottles, and even for the caps there is a separate bin. Dark and clear glass: two containers. And a series of smaller containers for aluminum, cork, cell phones, power cables, fabrics, etc. etc.
In the end, we won’t be able to burn anything anymore and future generations won’t understand how irreverent we’ve dealt with the earth in the last 250 years.