Zero Waste––Zero Justice?

  • Ruth Müller Munich Center for Technology in Society, School of Management & School of Life Sciences Technical University of Munich
  • Sarah Maria Schönbauer Munich Center for Technology in Society, School of Management & School of Life Sciences Technical University of Munich
Keywords: plastics, zero waste, social justice, environmental justice, class, race

Abstract

Plastic is slowly covering the earth, accumulating in oceans, soil, air, and human and non-human bodies. In the face of this catastrophe, zero waste activists call upon us for action, detailing, how we, too, can change our lifestyle to eliminate plastic waste and save the planet. Yet, who it is that is called upon, who speaks, and whose voices and lived realities might be ignored? In this contribution, we explore the social politics of the zero waste movement. This leads us to ponder: might popular environmental movements that relegate social justice to the back seat ultimately do more harm than good?

Author Biographies

Ruth Müller, Munich Center for Technology in Society, School of Management & School of Life Sciences Technical University of Munich

Ruth Müller is Associate Professor of Science & Technology Policy at the Technical University of Munich and the Co-Director of the Munich Center for Technology in Society. Her work explores the nexus of science, technology, society and policy, focusing on how institutional, social and policy contexts interact with and shape research practices, on knowledge cultures in the life sciences and in biomedicine, and on the representation, circulation and interpretation of life science and biomedical knowledge in society and policy.

Sarah Maria Schönbauer, Munich Center for Technology in Society, School of Management & School of Life Sciences Technical University of Munich

Sarah Maria Schönbauer is a postdoctoral researcher at the professorship of Science & Technology Policy, Technical University of Munich. Her work focuses on academic knowledge cultures in transition with a specific focus on the environmental sciences. She is specifically interested in human-environment relations and the growing research on, media interest in and political regulation of plastics and microplastics. 

Published
2020-11-02
Section
Critical Engagements