Sweden aims to be the first zero-waste society

Posted on 29 October 2019 By Anita Froneman

Sweden seems to be living the dream. Almost all of their trash either gets recycled or converted into energy. They send barely any rubbish to landfills. In fact, according to Beautiful News, only one in every 200 tonnes ends up at a landfill site.

Citizens see recycling as a normal, everyday task that they complete quickly and without second thought. A culture of producing as little waste as possible might soon help them to become the first completely waste-free nation.

They take it so serious, that the Swedish government has implemented an approach called the ‘circular economy’ which involves using products that can be reused completely, a so-called cradle-to-cradle approach.

In 2018, the Swedish government even established a special advisory group to help it make the circular economy a key part of its policy, reports Sweden.se

Their tax system also allows for repairs to certain used items being offered at affordable rates, encouraging people to keep using their products instead of throwing it away and buying new ones.

The concerns for climate change has also led Sweden to develop effective methods of burning rubbish in low-carbon incinerators to produce heat (to warm up apartments, for example), and using food waste to make climate-friendly biogas fuel. According to The New York Times, roughly 50 percent of garbage is incinerated in power plants. Heat is transformed into steam that spins turbines to generate electricity much like conventional power plants that burn coal or gas. The other half, of course, is recycled.

May we all tip the hat to our Scandinavian counterparts and follow in their invisible carbon footprints.


Image: Unsplash

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