The main motivation of the ZWL is to create bottom-up pressure to trigger the redesign / reframing of the urban waste handling system, addressing first and foremost the lifecycle of plastics and, gradually, other waste.
The goal is to involve all stakeholders in the materials life cycle of cities, to raise awareness and participatory responsibility, stimulate reflection and mobilize society to drastically change behavior in waste production and management, fostering sustainable development and promoting a circular economy where waste and environmental impact move towards zero.
The ZWL aims to host and bring together the community of innovators, researchers, activists, entrepreneurs and artists dedicated to waste, through an effective program of workshops, meet-ups, try-outs, networking events that encourage information sharing, foster cooperative reflection and encourage smart synergies for effective prototyping, testing, and scaling of solutions towards a future of zero waste.
So far ZWL has been operating through PlasticSunDays, an active platform running on Facebook, raising awareness and engaging civic responsibility regarding plastic pollution:
> Organising beach cleaning initiatives, bringing together volunteers of all ages, working with artists and also engaging businesses to promote social responsibility and better practices within companies.
> Coordinated Educational program of LisbonWeek focused on plastic pollution and targeted 2000 students aged 6-12 from 13 schools during 6 months, bringing together different institutions, activists, artists, which resulted in many changes at the schools' use and handling of plastic, engagement from families, an exhibition and new student initiatives.
> Created plastic0circular project, in collaboration with Circular Economy Portugal and Better Future Factory and supported by IdanhaCulta and Se-Lo Verde: a small scale recycling unit that invites anyone, hands-on and on the spot, to transform plastic waste into a new object through 3D printing. Besides the empowering recycling impact and visualization of what circularity can mean, this promotes a closing of the loop of the 3D printing universe, which still uses raw resources for its filament, while it should use recycled plastic.
Video (with engagement) here:
Our objectives with ZeWaLab:
1. Raise awareness and participatory responsibility, stimulate reflection and mobilize society to change behaviour in waste production and management, fostering sustainable development and promoting a circular economy where waste and environmental impact move towards zero;
2. Welcome and bring together the community of innovators, researchers, activists, entrepreneurs and artists dedicated to waste, through an effective program of activities that encourages information sharing, fosters cooperative reflection and encourages the expansion of synergies, towards a future of zero waste;
3. Operate urban physical spaces of reference that serve the community, inviting all those interested in improving their relationship with waste, also serving as a meeting point for all those dedicated to the zero-waste cause and the drive for a circular economy ;
4. Promote environmental citizenship through awareness raising campaigns, education and training, which will help to curb and reverse the increasing consumption and disposal of materials (in particular plastic) and inspire new and authentic ways of incorporating zero-waste and circularity into the everyone’s lives.
5. Collaborate in relevant research projects, contribute to the dissemination of scientific knowledge and involve the scientific community in the measurement and quantification of the impact achieved, fundamental for building trust;
6. Enable technological innovation to create value in recycling, increase process efficiency throughout the material life cycle, and promote the transparency of processes;
7. Cooperate with associations, movements or initiatives, public or private organisations, national and / or international, that fit our objectives;
8. Create increasing pressure to initiate the reformulation of urban waste treatment systems and encourage public policies that frame the life cycle of materials in the holistic perspective of the regenerative cycle of life;
9. Promote synergies with event organisers for large audiences in order to test good practices and raise public awareness;
10. Re-contextualise the way we humans work together, contribute to the accountability and approximation of all around a common goal, building a sustainable future, with respect for all of life, peace, balance and broad renewable prosperity.