This film follows an entrepreneurial father of 27 children as he runs a recycling business in Sao Paulo to sustain his huge family.

Why Wait for the Future? There Could Be a Present without Waste

Taking on the big players in media technology, whose business choices are dictating the changes and transitions in our society and environment, Köpnick questions the economics and ethics behind mobile phone production. He envisions a situation where company strategies are turned around to reduce waste and wastage, and thereby begin to benefit the environment, consumer and company alike.

A Future without Waste? Zero Waste in Theory and Practice

About this issue

Is a world without waste truly achievable? The essays in this volume of RCC Perspectives discuss zero waste as a vision, as a historical concept, and as an international practice. Going beyond the motto of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” they reflect on the feasibility of creating closed material cycles and explore real-world examples of challenges and successes on the way to zero waste.


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

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.” Drawing on examples of informal and cooperative recyclers in Brazil, Gutberlet argues that these workers have developed effective practices and policies supporting circular economy, sufficiency, and solidarity.

Working for Zero Waste in Germany: A Discussion across Disciplines

The participants in a roundtable discussion that took place in May 2013 at LMU’s Center for Advanced Studies draw on their collective experience in engineering, anthropology, environmental justice, and city politics, in order to explore the impact of waste, and the strategies we should, and currently do, employ as we work towards zero waste in the world.

An Impossible Ideal: The Use and Misuse of Zero Waste

Though a desirable environmental prospect, many wonder if zero waste is a realistic goal or merely a pipe dream. Starting from an analysis of the laws of thermodynamics, this article argues that it is an impossible ideal; however, along with the principles of the circular economy and reform of modern economic systems, the idea of zero waste can provide valuable insights into how we can establish a future ecological civilization.