Just Zero Celebrates One Year of Progress Towards Zero Waste

Two people standing on sidewalk looking down at the words "passion led us here."

A year ago, our small, mighty crew launched a new nonprofit to advance community-centered Zero Waste solutions across the country. We set out on this venture with a broad vision to achieve a more just and sustainable future. What unfolded over the past year surpassed even our boldest goals.

From the get-go, we focused our attention on the full spectrum of the waste problem. That meant working to put an end to our toxic, antiquated, and climate-damaging reliance on burying and burning trash. It also meant working to advance Zero Waste solutions that stop waste before it starts – like clean composting and programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle right.

To make a real impact, we built partnerships, created resources, and hosted events to engage with and educate folks around Zero Waste policy. It takes a lot of work to design and produce the educational materials and resources we’ve created over the last year. Our website is a beautiful, well-organized site chock full of clear, well-supported Zero Waste resources. Our first webinar series was a huge hit, and our newsletter, Just the Facts, is short, easy to read, and entertaining. I couldn’t be prouder of all that we have done to spread the word about Zero Waste.

But education is just one part of what we do at Just Zero. The country can’t tackle its waste crisis without the right laws and regulations in place. That’s why Just Zero drafts model legislation, supports nation-leading Zero Waste proposals, and advocates before regulatory agencies faced with important waste-related decisions. It’s why advocates and lawmakers throughout the country rely on our assistance to design sensible waste policies that protect all communities.

In our first year, we helped put together six model bills that aim to reduce waste, eliminate toxics, and protect communities. These model bills helped inform legislation in Illinois, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island.

We worked with legislators and local activists at the federal level and in ten states across the country to introduce and improve Zero Waste legislation. And we filed comments with federal agencies, a half-dozen states, and local agencies advocating for the best possible recycling regulations and solid waste plans – or to push back against corporate greenwashing.

But our team doesn’t stop at designing Zero Waste policies. Just Zero also engages with community groups, grassroots organizations, and coalitions – to help them blaze their own Zero Waste trails. By building strong relationships we are able to help advocate for and implement the best Zero Waste solutions throughout the nation.

We brought our mission to Washington D.C. – urging federal lawmakers to protect communities during a Week of Action addressing the plastics problem and fact-checking plastic industry nonsense at the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides workshop. Just Zero also partners with groups and coalitions in Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. And, activists and journalists in jurisdictions from Florida to Washington state use us as a resource on composting systems, plastics, Bottle Bills, textile recycling, landfills, incineration, sewage sludge, and toxic forever chemicals like PFAS. I can’t wait to build even more partnerships in the upcoming year.

Our team members are our secret sauce. We are hard-working, kind, and committed to building an equitable and transparent organization. I look forward to sitting down to work every day because I get to work with such talented and lovely people. This team is paving the way as a leading nonprofit working towards Zero Waste solutions at every level of our polluting waste cycle, and I am humbled by all that we have accomplished together.

But as Just Zero celebrates its one-year anniversary, our team is looking ahead. We hope to grow our staff and our work – to bring just and equitable Zero Waste solutions to even more people across the country. Advocates and lawmakers throughout the U.S. will continue to look to Just Zero for help enacting bold laws and policies. These laws and policies will create and improve recycling and reuse programs, hold industries accountable for the waste they create, and stop polluting incinerators and landfills in their tracks. Just Zero will continue to fight against industry-sponsored false solutions. And we will work to educate policy makers and the public about real Zero Waste solutions.

I hope that you’ll join us in our mission to advance community-centered Zero Waste solutions across the country. Make a donation to Just Zero today and help us meet our goals for year two!

Join the Movement

Scroll to Top