- First up in Bare Necessities- Zero Waste India series on SDGs in relation to zero waste, circular economy methodology and sustainability is Goal 1: No Poverty.
By formalising waste collecting networks and ensuring that segregation of household material occurs throughout India people on the lowest socioeconomic levels in this country (India) will be in a position to earn more in a structured environment in order to lift themselves out of poverty.
A simplified example of this is, if a middle income level family composted their organic waste from their meals the day before they could give their dry, recyclable waste to a waste collector who can take it to the dry waste centre for payment (sound familiar? The key is to segregate organic waste from dry materials, this ensures that the material retains its value. If it is contaminated the value decreases).
The dry waste centre that is well connected with businesses who can reuse the material will be able to send it off to that location having evaluated the quality of the material and selling it at that value (creating mutually beneficial partnerships between stages of this cycle is pivotal for the money to trickle down).
The business can then reuse the material to be sold back to that same middle income family when they next go to the market (reusing material, such as a glass milk bottle from a milkman, will eliminate the need for the business to spend money buying new material).
This process can allow the waste collector at the beginning of this loop to be paid more and know that he/ she can absorb external shocks that may harm his/ her family’s livelihood. These simple steps provide the tools that individuals across the country need to lift themselves out of poverty, but it requires all of us to do our part in the circle described above.