Here is the best explanation I’ve seen, courtesy of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition:
* Zero waste is about sustainable resource management, because it preserves materials and resources, saves energy and reduces global warming.
* Zero waste employs creative and comprehensive approaches to maximize waste reduction. Integral to zero waste are product stewardship requirements that give corporations the responsibility for taking back or eliminating the wasteful products they produce (examples include toxicity, excessive packaging and a short life span).
* Zero waste is an engine for green economic development and job creation. It saves more resources and energy and does more to address global warming than any other approach to waste management. It needs a cooperative effort between the community and industry (if our communities can’t reuse, recycle, or compost it, industry shouldn’t make it).
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is sponsoring the New York State Zero Waste Campaign:
Join a statewide coalition of concerned citizens and groups to press the state to incorporate 21st century “Zero Waste” principles into its solid waste policies. NY lags behind many states in recycling and composting and remains heavily dependent on polluting garbage incinerators and landfills. In many municipalities, recycling and waste diversion rates have been declining, and existing NYS policy has done little to turn this dismal situation around. We have an opportunity to move toward Zero Waste in New York, but we need your involvement.
I answered their questionaire, but couldn’t find any further information on their website. I’ll post updates here as they become available…