First Impression On Zero Waste Most Likely Leads to Misconception

Making A Scene / LIfestyle

Written By
Annisa Puspa Andira

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Illustration By
Adhelia Sani Pramita

When plastic being introduced for the first time in 1950, it was meant to be a solution for practical life. With a purpose to make life easier, plastic becomes a sensation and life saver. Fast forward to 2019—plastic has turned its back, becoming the biggest foe to the environment. Quoting from National Geographic website, there are approximately 5 trillion of plastic waste floats in the ocean. And if we think that it is not going to be worse, it is a complete 180. As much as plastics harm our earth, maybe we haven’t realized yet that the clothes that we simply tossed in the bin ended up in the landfill would be mixed up with other wastes releasing methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. Even Fashion Revolution stated that synthetic fabrics like polyester could take hundreds of years to biodegrade. It comes as no surprise; the global community then joins hands to strike the war against those problems and Zero waste Indonesia is no exception, raising the awareness to the society.

“This movement encourages and challenges us to evaluate our lifestyle and fix our habit that potentially give a harmful impact on the environment.”

In a brief definition, zero waste could be said as a movement to changing the habits of using items that’s hard—even near impossible to be decomposed. This movement encourages and challenges us to evaluate our lifestyle and fix our habit that potentially give a harmful impact on the environment. It is not easy since we have to avoid sending waste or debris to the landfill as much as we can because mostly the waste we’ve made got mixed and just piled up without getting recycled. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2017, “Out of the total waste produced (organic and non-organic), only 7.5% are processed. The rest of the waste are piled, burned, ignored, and as much as 69% are transported to landfills.” So, yes, the ugly truth is: recycle is not the ultimate answer. That’s why in zero waste movement, there is 5R, 1S; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and Sort.

Still, many people tend to misinterpret and gets intimidated by the term right away. We are often digesting the terms literally, so the definition that lands into mind that we aren’t allowed to make any waste. As a living human being, we will always make waste. It is impossible with every consumption that we took. Therefore, what zero waste movement tries to do is to remind that there are wise ways to reduce the waste we make. Adopting the 5R 1S principle, the first step can start from the smallest thing; such as refuse to use a plastic straw or begin to bring your Tumblr for a drink. It certainly takes time to change the habits as it used to be the thing that we do every day and realizes it’s not something to be forced. Realized that it needs a multi-platform to share the educating content, Zero Waste Indonesia creating a one-stop-solution platform for zero waste lifestyle that’s not only giving out information but also the alternatives towards reducing waste. And Maurilla Imron, founder Zero Waste Indonesia shares how Zero Waste Indonesia tend to approach gently and interactively by giving possibilities and accessible choices in raising the awareness and action of zero waste.

“Zero Waste is actually is our way back to traditional culture, where we can use natural items and what we have around us.”

Zero Waste Indonesia strongly emphasizes in raising awareness since people always have misconception and misinterpretation. Another misinterpretation of zero waste that is considered to be fancy and overpriced, so it is only limited to certain people. However, Maurilla Imron gives different perspective explaining that what it means in implementing zero waste that we could utilize our stuff and how it will affect us, mindfully thinking about how long the goods will last and not impulsively buying anything. Therefore, Zero Waste Indonesia initiate #TukarBaju (clothing swap) campaign to minimize the least prefer clothing in closet ended up in landfill and alternative how we could still maintain the look with the secondhand product that we’ve wanted. Because without realizing it, by always impulsively buying anything, the costs we spend exceeded than what we think, costing more money and harming the environment. Means, cheap prices leads to something or someone required to pay a higher price to produce where it can be the environment or the labor in the manufacture.