The idea behind zero-waste cities has been traveling around the world to promote a circular economy lifestyle. It involves a consistent joint effort, on a national & community level, to achieve such a shift in lifestyle. There are companies and non-profit organizations that are working day and night to spread awareness amongst communities regarding climate change. The need for sustainable green solutions and climate-friendly lifestyles has only grown by the day as the waste we produce is growing with it. Now, either we pollute and compromise the only planet that has life on earth or we try and do our best to save it. To do that, experts have come up with a circular economy framework that eliminates the factors causing climate change. Based on this framework, an idea emerged for zero-waste cities. To this date, it is considered as the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement.
What Is A Zero-Waste City?
The highest ambition of the Paris Agreement is zero-waste cities and it encompasses the idea that the sustainable and habitable cities of the future will ultimately need to be zero-waste cities. As the name suggests, it promotes the idea amongst the individuals to manage their waste by reusing, recycling, and reducing it to ultimately reach a point where they are not producing any waste. A zero-waste city model comprises individuals practicing a zero-waste lifestyle. Making everyday decisions that encourage consumption of materials that are sustainable and pose no threat to the environment. Every single person who is producing waste will adopt a smart and sustainable way of life to generate less to zero waste on an individual level. When there is no waste, there will be less burden on earth to deal with that waste. That is how zero-waste cities can combat climate change and effectively diminish GHG emissions globally for a clean and green future.
What Is The Potential Of A Zero-Waste City?
Sustaining a zero-waste city is quite ambitious, but it is not impossible. Currently, 2 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste are produced annually worldwide and the World Bank is estimating this figure to increase to 3 billion metric tons by 2050. Out of all that waste, 13.5% of it is recycled and 5.5% is composted. The remaining waste gets incinerated, dumped in the landfills or the oceans. This waste adds up to the global GHG emissions globally and it is estimated that the waste sector accounts for 10 to 15 % of the global GHG emissions. To stop that, individuals around the world and the countries who are facing first-hand effects of climate change are making an effort to change their lifestyle and make more sustainable decisions. An environment-conscious effort is bringing leaders and experts together to chalk out strategies to start developing zero-waste cities. With each step being crucial for this goal, many cities have successfully managed to call themselves a zero-waste city. With various technologies and advanced equipment at our disposal, it has become more convenient to become a zero-waste city. Moreover, biodegradable goods, packaging, and raw materials are easily available for users to make sustainable decisions.
Furthermore, bringing producers to accountability will also open doors for the production of sustainable goods and encourage waste management and utilization at the industrial level. Since much of the industrial waste ends up in the oceans it compromises marine life, causing a huge impact upon the ecological pyramid. Therefore, in a zero-waste city, industries will be producing waste that is either reusable or recyclable.
Managing industrial waste will be a crucial part of it all and YFC provides just that! It crucially deals with sustainably managing your waste Read more about it here.
Why Do We Need To Advance Towards Zero-Waste Cities?
The future depends upon what we do today to stop climate change. With so many technical conveniences, waste management could not have been easier than expected. Moreover, it is one of the primary services that city governments provide and is a sector over which leaders exercise significant authority. The leaders of the world’s great cities recognize that the bold action of waste management is key to making our urban centers cleaner, sustainable, more resilient, and inclusive. Building upon that, zero-waste cities are more than possible today and it is the right time to move towards such a circular economy solution.
Zero Waste Cities Around The World!
Although it takes years’ worth of effort to become a city with no waste, Sweden has nearly reached zero-waste levels after an impressive recycling revolution. Along with that, other 23 global cities have pledged to advance towards zero-waste. These cities include Auckland, Catalonia, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, Milan, Montreal, Navarra, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rotterdam, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver & Washington D.C. The pledge concludes that by 2030 these countries shall reduce the amount of waste generated by each citizen to 15%, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incineration by 50% and increase the diversion rate to 70%. It is estimated that 87million tons of waste disposal will be avoided by 2030 if all these cities come through. With that, other cities will have to get on board with eliminating their waste by reusing, recycling, and reducing it. YFC has also taken the initiative to provide solutions for cities moving towards Zero Waste with Noida city in India the latest to undergo the project.
The zero-waste city is the one solution that is helping us fight climate change. By decreasing the GHG emissions on a global level, we are sure to achieve a sustainable means of life and securing the planet for future generations. Because if we continue to live as we do, there are high chances that our future generations will not have much to look forward to. With zero-waste cities, we are opening opportunities for more circular economy solutions and saving the planet for a sustainable future to come. YES Full Circle Solutions has pledged its solutions to help the planet achieve complete sustainability. If you have an idea that would help the cause, reach out to us so that we can do our bit in #DoingGoodToDoGood!