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Five waste free communities around the world

Can we eliminate plastic waste and maybe all the waste from our lives? The answer is yes if we can follow the examples set by these five communities. Ranging from a village in Japan to an entire state in the Himalayas, these stories will give hope to all our readers that want to contribute to making a waste-free world.

1. Village of Kamikatsu in Japan

The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instituted the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.

2. The city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, India

Can a city with a population of over 2 million become waste-free, that too in a developing country that is not known for its waste management? Just view this video to see a case study, not just for India, but the whole world.

3. The Village of Chota Narena in Rajasthan, India

India has over 650,000  villages. Thanks to the expansion of modern packaged goods, all these villages are generating plastic waste but lack the scale to recycle it. Here is an example of a village that has turned completely waste-free in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

4. The City of San Francisco, California, USA

While not completely waste-free, San Francisco is on its way to achieving that by 2020. Watch this video to see how.

5. The Himalayan state of Sikkim, India

What can top villages, islands, and cities? Entire states. And here is an example of a state in India that is not only going waste-free but completely organic too. 

I hope these case studies encourage you to make your own neighborhood, village or city waste-free too.

Know of any other waste-free communities in the world? Please write to me at

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Venkatesh Kini

May 31, 2019
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