Members in the Spotlight: Zero Waste Austria

by Lys Mehou-loko

May 27, 2021 at 06:46:49 PM

Please introduce yourself(-ves) and your organisation?
My name is Monique, I am from Austria and I have studied business and administration in Vienna and also in California. I have been working for Zero Waste Austria over a year now and I am in charge of LinkedIn marketing and our sustainable city tours. I am also writing blog articles and I am the link between Zero Waste Austria and Break Free From Plastic, since I got deeply interested in anything related to plastic and our single-use plastic waste.

Why is plastic pollution an important issue for your organisation? What’s the story?

Plastic pollution is an important issue for our organisation, as the main part of the waste we are responsible for, consists of plastic. We throw away so many single-used items, which can be easily replaced or better, not even consumed. Our team, which consists of volunteers, shows that it is possible to reduce the daily waste by small steps, as we believe that if everyone takes these steps, we can create something big and impactful. We want to increase awareness about zero waste in Austria and give valuable advice and show examples of how it can be done successfully, without having to change your behaviour from 0 to 100 from one day to another. 

Tell us more about your ongoing campaigns and activities

We are working on a map that shows all zero waste shops in Austria and where it is possible  to buy unpackaged goods. We have various campaigns and activities through which we help people understand the importance of zero waste and the problem behind overpackaging. We are very active on social media and use these channels to share our work and the information about zero waste. 

We also work with hotels, schools and other organizations to make the zero waste movement in Austria better understood and taken seriously.

When did your organisation become a core member of BFFP? What does it mean for your organisation to be part of the BFFP movement?

We have just joined recently this year and we are really glad and happy to be part of the worldwide organisation BFFP. It means for us that we can support each other, learn from another and that we can use the existing knowledge to share the zero waste movement worldwide. We reckon a great chance to amplify our projects as well as helping other countries and organisations sharing theirs to gain an even greater audience and community. 

What is the most ridiculous plastic product or packaging that you have seen?

For me, food packaging for several products is ridiculous. Why do you have to use another plastic bag to pack already packed items?! And with vegetables and fruits, it makes no sense to sell them packed in plastic, when the fruit obviously will require peeling. 

What do you find shocking in the plastic waste landscape that you think everybody should know about? 

For me the most shocking part is micro plastics. It is mostly invisible, it is everywhere and we consume 5g of micro plastic EACH week! That is the same weight as a credit card. Since it is more difficult to fight micro plastics and clean our environment from this danger, it makes me most worried.

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