We currently live in a linear economy where we take resources from the earth as they are infinite and when we are done using them they end up in a landfill where we bury or burn them destroying their value, if they don’t end up in the ocean polluting our waters and killing marine life.
The goal of zero waste is to redefine and move to a circular economy where we take as little as possible new resources and produce ideally zero waste. The circular economy mimics nature in that there is no waste. So instead of discarding resources, we create a system where all resources can be resumed fully back into the system. Zero waste is more an ideal than a hard target.