New York's package free shop leads the way in quest for zero waste

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 05:46:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NEW YORK, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- New York-based Package Free Shop is selling the idea and life style of zero waste by amassing a large number of fans on social media and selling around 100 environmental-friendly items.

New York City in 2015 set the aim of cutting waste for landfills to zero by 2030 and launched voluntary initiative Zero Waste Challenge in 2016 with the participation of over 31 businesses in a bid to reduce waste sent to landfills and incinerations.

Lauren Singer, who lives a zero waste lifestyle, started a blog named as "Trash is for Tossers" years ago to show people that leading a zero-waste lifestyle is simple, cost-effective, fun, and entirely possible.

Singer opened the brick and mortar store Package Free Shop in the New York City's borough of Brooklyn around 2017 and added on-line sales options on the website of Trash is for Tossers later.

Package Free Shop showcases mostly reusable items without packaging and also accepts orders from overseas clients, according to Catherine, a sales person with the store.

Anna, a tourist from Australia, bought some items from Package Free Shop on Thursday with her friend. Anna said she followed Singer on Instagram and there is no such kind of shop dedicated only to similar environmental friendly products in Australia.

Trash is for Tossers now has over 281,000 followers on Instagram and 234,380 subscribers on YouTube.

At least 10 cities in the United States have official zero waste goals and these cities introduced a mix of regulations and incentives to encourage businesses and residents to reduce waste, according to Ross Guberman, chief executive officer with sustainable waste management company Great Forest.

"Education is important. Businesses and cities have to make sure people understand how and why they are moving towards zero waste," said Guberman in an email to Xinhua on Wednesday.

Moving towards zero waste doesn't just help businesses reduce their waste and improve operations, but also puts businesses in control of their waste costs, no matter how the market fluctuates, Guberman said.

"In the United States, there is widespread agreement on the need to build domestic markets for recycling, as opposed to rely on export to markets abroad," said Samantha MacBride, adjunct assistant professor with School of International and Public Affairs of the City University of New York.

The United States used to export a large quantity of solid waste to Asia and over 50 percent of municipal solid waste is sent to domestic landfills.

Industry players, farmers and individuals all have roles to play in the flow of waste materials through extraction, manufacture, transportation, sale, consumption, and waste, according to MacBride.

The use and possession of single-use plastic foam containers by restaurants, stores, and manufacturers were banned in New York City starting from Jan. 1, 2019 with the ban on plastic straws, bags and forks proposed.