“We need to think bigger than just saying no to plastic straws”

By Natasha Jahanshahi

Package free shops are popping up all over London. The Zero Waste movement is growing in the city as more and more people are trying to reduce their waste – or live completely waste free.

Whenever Alex Furey leaves his flat in south London he makes sure to pack a few essentials in his bag; a reusable coffee cup, a wooden cutlery set and a few little bags and jars. On his way to the gym he brings a metal bowl that he usually keeps in his freezer, and empties the food scraps in a compost bin in one of the flower beds on his way.

Every year, London homes and businesses produce 7 million ton of waste. That’s around 970 kg of waste per household or about a car’s weight worth of trash. But a growing community of people in the city are changing their lives because they refuse to be part of those statistics. They are living what is called a Zero Waste lifestyle; a quiet revolution against the buying-and-throwing-out culture. Today more than 2000 Londoners are following the Zero Waste life style, and the community is growing, especially amongst millennials and generation Z, who wants a greener world to live in.

“People are too content with making small changes, and then not doing more. We need to think bigger than just not using plastic straws,” says 34-year old Alex Furey. Heis sitting in a soft, grey couch in a shared office space in Holborn, London. Scattered around the big, open room people are having meetings, eating their lunch and having phone calls.

Alex Furey takes a sip of his coffee that the house barista just made, and places one leg over the other. “I feel like I have adopted a Zero Waste mindset. It is like a context I have for my life, and that dictates a lot of what I do, where I go and what I buy,” he says. He is dressed in a marine blue pullover and grey, checkered trousers. Both are bought second hand, as he has stopped buying clothes from new – except socks and underwear.