Zero Waste is a unique way one looks at resources - one of the most futuristic, current and profound ways that modern societal change is envisaged in the world today. It is based on three fundamental principles – ethics, efficiency and economy. It is a total systems approach that goes beyond just segregate - reuse - reduce - recycle. Hence it is a logical planning approach incorporating principles of effective human and material resource utilization to avoid the conversion of discards into waste in a manner that revitalizes the local economy.
Zero Waste Kovalam is an attempt to implement zero waste concepts at a tourist beach destination in Kerala, India. The project was conceived and launched as a fall out of an anti waste incineration campaign launched by Thanal in 1996. The project was drawn in 2001 focusing on building capacity and relationship among the local community for lobbying for better resource management policies, generating clean and sustainable employment through discards recovery and material substitution.
Zero Waste Centre, a part of the Zero Waste Kovalam programme was established in April 2003, as a Resource Use Education Centre with the objective of product design and development, imparting training and building awareness about resource use. The Centre evolved from the need to complement the effort of the Zero Waste Kovalam Programme which demands ideas, products and designs that are diverse and eco-friendly. It has been able to share the lessons learnt in economical and ecological way of handling waste with local self governments, Institutions and the local people and has helped build relationships and partnerships among various stakeholders.
Zero Waste Kovalam and Employment opportunities - A research paper submitted under Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development by Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthpauram.