Environmental commitment is growing, and the impact of consumption on the environment is becoming increasingly clear. However, one aspect of consumption that few people are aware of is the large amount of waste produced during the process to manufacture various products – the “invisible waste”. You can see one example in the video above: A smartphone weighs less than 200 grams and comes in a small package, but an unbelievable 86 kilograms of waste are produced during its manufacture! In other words, it's not always what you see that is the true heavyweight.
Because the waste from manufacturing is not visible, consumers have trouble really understanding the full environmental impact the product has. It must be easier for consumers to take responsibility for their purchases. The invisible waste must therefore be made visible and knowledge about it must increase so we can reduce the quantities of waste over time. Increased knowledge enables the consumer to make more informed decisions when choosing which product to purchase.
A number of changes are necessary to achieve sustainable consumption. Products must have a longer service life, be easier to repair and recycle, and ultimately be completely non-toxic the day they are recycled. Increasing product service life reduces the need for new production and thereby the quantity of waste produced through manufacturing. Huge responsibility for turning this into a reality rests on the shoulders of those who decide on instruments of control for production and consumption. Making the invisible visible to more people also encourages consumers to practice more sustainable consumption.
Zero Waste – that is Avfall Sverige's vision. This means that we want to create a future without waste, where the planet's resources are saved, unnecessary consumption is eliminated, and everything is utilised optimally. In simple terms, we envision a society built on a circular economy. The municipalities play an important role in this work through both their procurement work and the close contact they have with the citizens.
We hope you want to take part in spreading the word about invisible waste. Whether you are a decision maker, a producer, or a consumer.
Our goal is for all decision makers who have the ability to influence in this area to have sustainability issues on their agenda. The first step towards a more circular economy is applying the right instruments of control that favour more circular production and encourage reuse.
Naturally, producers are already working with the issue. But, they need to be clearer about how waste will be decreased. Avfall Sverige is happy to be part of the dialogue and collaborate on this issue.
The public should have a reasonable chance to understand that it is not always what is visible that is the true heavyweight.
Avfall Sverige's members work to promote waste prevention through measures such as making it easier for citizens to repair, share and reuse. Our primary priority is to prevent waste from being produced. This is achieved through more sustainable production and consumption. We are therefore calling attention to this issue with the campaign #invisiblewaste.
Together, we can get more people to understand how important it is to hasten our work to reduce waste. Together, we can make the invisible waste visible – a win-win situation for everyone.