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Waste And Throwaway Culture

May 1, 2020

Care for our common home has become urgent yet remains controversial.

2015 – LAUDATO SI’

Throwaway culture affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish. Most of the paper we use is thrown away and not recycled… The way natural ecosystems work is exemplary: plants synthesise nutrients which feed herbivores; these in turn become food for carnivores which produce significant quantities of organic waste which give rise to new generations of plants. But our industrial system… has not developed the capacity to absorb and re-use waste and by-products.

(LaudatoSi’, 22)

The population living in proximity of waste disposal plants is often more deprived than the general population, which involves environmental health inequalities.

World Health Organisation, 2015

Bring your own shopping bag Carry a reusable water bottle Say ‘No’ to plastic straws Use hand soap in the shower ; support a “paper-free” zone.


Covid-19 has led to shortages of various resources globally, such as food, water, and paper products and caused many to “make do” with what we have.

How has this influenced my perspective on what it means to live a simple lifestyle?

Has it inspired any changes in my thinking about what I “really need” or in my consumption patterns? 

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12 focuses upon sustainable consumption and production.

Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles