The Dutch and recycling is an endless love affair that does nothing but prosper with time. And the Zero Waste Lab initiative is here to make sure that it stays this way.
The Dutch and Recycling: Why are people in the Netherlands so dedicated to recycling?
If you live in the Netherlands, you should have noticed by now that the Dutch come up with all kinds of ways to recycle. This country is wholeheartedly dedicated to using old materials, in order to create something new and beautiful. However, that does not seem to be the case everywhere in the Netherlands.
According to reports, The Netherlands’ two largest cities – Amsterdam and Rotterdam, have recycling rates that are far lower that the rest of the country. That is why these two Dutch cities have pledged to become circular economies, by reusing waste to create new materials. Amsterdam has plans to achieve this by 2050 and Rotterdam by 2030.
According to studies, the average person in the Netherlands produces 550 kg (1,213 lb) of waste each year, and over half of that is recycled. However, in Amsterdam where most residents live in apartments with no outdoor space, only 27% of waste is recycled. This is why the municipality hopes to boost that percentage to 65% by 2020. This is where Zero Waste Lab comes in to save the day!
The Dutch and Recycling: Zero Waste Lab
Zero Waste Lab is a new initiative aiming to enlighten people on the topic of urban waste in Dutch cities. The company teaches people that even trash can be turned into something useful and beautiful. All you have to do is go and donate your old stuff to Zero Waste Lab. By giving them your old fabric, paper and plastic, you not only support their project, but also receive discount tokens for local shops and market stalls.
What are those projects? Well, for example your old fabric is sent to Firma Koos. It is a local social enterprise that hires people struggling to find work and uses denim to make cushions and bags.
Other items such as electronic cables, fabric and plastic bottles are sent to children’s arts and crafts workshops. Zero Waste Lab also sends some of the waste to libraries that host workshops for children called “maker spaces”. There, children learn how to create something artistic out of trash. The goal of these maker spaces is to teach children from a young age the importance of recycling and how old materials may come in use.
According to Zero Waste Lab, the goal of the initiative is not only to encourage people to recycle, but also to create a community of people who care about local projects. Since it started in 2016, 30 local businesses and 1,100 households have joined the project.
Are you going to donate some of your old stuff to Zero Waste Lab? How do you feel about the Dutch and recycling? Let us know in the comments below!