A few years ago in this almanac, I featured Kamakatsu, the zero-waste town located in Japan. In case you missed it, in 2003, Kamakatsu set an ambitious zero-waste declaration, aiming to be 100% waste-free by 2020. The goal was to produce no trash, meaning everything from food packaging to unwanted clothing to yesterday’s newspaper should be reused, repurposed into new goods, or recycled.
This strict recycling program involves the residents having to wash, dry and sort their trash into 45 different categories. Over the past 17 years, they have managed to reach 80% waste free. As the leader of the Zero Waste Academy in Kamikatsu, Akira Sakano’s job was to get an entire town on board with a new daily routine. Sakano talks about how the town has entered their goal year, and about whether they hit their targets and what lessons they learnt along the way. Watch
Read this excellent article about the challenges we all face in going fully zero-waste. Basically, it all goes back to the manufacturer of plastic products, who needs to make packaging that is reusable, and in the meantime, be held financially responsible for the plastic pollution they are creating.