This page was written to reveal the kinds of misdirected programs

that are used by the mainstream groups – politicians, environmentalists and experts – to enshrine waste as though it were inevitable and to pretend that minimally reusing its materials, or shipping it to third world countries, is the most progressive and constructive thing that can be done.

 As you know by now, Zero Waste is always far more constructive. Redesigning everything so that discard never takes place is much better than creating huge piles of discards and then ineffectually trying to capture a few scraps of value.

To see a particularly egregious example of greenwashing, look at this.

It is possible to totally eliminate the artificial, social construct of garbage.

Many people will argue that there has always been garbage so there must always be garbage. Of course, this is not a logical conclusion. Many social assumptions have been chopped off and eliminated because a more advanced civilization has decided that old behaviors can no longer be tolerated.

  • For thousands of years, domestic violence was taken for granted. Men had absolute control over their wives. In many cultures, this is still a legally protected right and a cultural norm. But in contemporary American society, domestic abuse is not tolerated on any level. What a change!
  • For thousands of years, the strong have bullied the weak. Yet today there is a growing mood to reject this behavior and to punish it when it arises.
  • Slavery has been a constant of humankind for as long as we have records. Yet overt slavery has now been abolished almost everywhere. This required a huge change that went against rigid behavior patterns and deprived many people of profits that they thought were theirs forever.
  • The greatest example of all is the elimination of smallpox from the earth, with polio to follow and maybe even tuberculosis.

In a similar way, the institution of garbage creation can be eliminated, and must be. For the first time now, the world is one and our new, global consciousness tells us that we are living on a finite and shared planet. The wanton extraction of resources to be used for a short time and then discarded is no longer a civilized impulse. It must stop, it can be stopped and this website has taken on the task of showing how that can be done.

The environmental movement for resource conservation BEGAN in the 1950’s and 60’s with the fight against incineration.  Now, as recycling collapses, Big Garbage has joined with new industries, academia and the bereft official recyclers to once again embrace incineration as the one, universal way to manage garbage and this time the environmentalists don’t know which way to turn. The old term incineration is avoided in favor of “waste to energy” in order to pretend that “waste” is just one more wonderful route to needed energy and not a gigantic, unnecessary loss of the world’s resources for a piddling, insignificant return.

Greenwashing is most often a corporate attempt to put a faux environmental cast over a minor change in marketing in order to get the Public Relations (PR) benefit of looking like they are being responsible corporate citizens. The Plastics Industry is well known for this kind of deception. Here is an article that does just that. The author doesn’t cover up the worsening tonnages of plastic manufacturing that he sees continuing for ten or thirty more years. Their favored example of some tiny progress is to show that a beer company is not going to use plastic rings to hold six cans together but will use an adhesive instead. So what do you think an adhesive is? A polymer – a PLASTIC! Instead of having two separate materials, polyethylene and aluminum that might be minimally reused, now they have two materials that are stuck together so any attempt to use one contaminates the other. This is the kind of article that hopes to lull the technical public to sleep so that the same kind of manufacturing can continue, decade after decade, without having to make any real change. The earth continues to suffer but that is an externality to the industry. The profits are all that count.