Ways Out of the Waste Dilemma: Transforming Communities in the Global South


This article argues that the idea of zero waste requires shifts in cultural values rather than new technological solutions. Inspiration for sustainable waste policies and management will likely come from countries in the Global South, where consumerism and discard-oriented production are not yet fully established, where economies are less fixated on growth, and people’s lifestyles are not yet “cocooned in the consumption bubble.” Examples of informal and cooperative recyclers in Brazil show how these workers have developed effective practices and policies supporting circular economy, sufficiency, and solidarity—something that we could learn from in the Global North as well.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7547