Going zero waste is hard, but these easy changes to how you eat, drink, and store food will make a big difference
Let’s get the bad news out of the way. You know when people casually joke about our country being a burning dumpster fire? They’re not totally wrong. America has a huge waste problem, and municipalities are now burning recyclables. Why? Because in 2017, China, which used to buy most of America’s discarded recycling, decided it was tired of being the world’s garbage bin. Unfortunately, the U.S. wasn’t totally equipped to do its own recycling.
“A lot of places are just stockpiling it now,” says Silpa Kaza, an urban-development specialist with the World Bank. Kaza is coauthor of What a Waste, a massive research project detailing refuse across the globe. Her report predicts that by 2050, we’ll create 3.4 billion tons of overall waste annually compared to today’s 2.01 billion tons.