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Meet our members – Zero Waste Latvija

Meet our members-Latvia Zero Waste

Zero Waste Europe is pleased to introduce the blog series "Meet Our Members". Through this series of monthly interviews, we hope to give you the opportunity to learn about our members and the work they do.

Hi Maija, can you give us a brief introduction to the point of zero waste in Latvia?

Latvia Zero Waste was born in a Facebook group created in January 2016. Anyone interested in zero waste can share tips and tricks on how to reduce waste in this group. Seeing the tremendous interest it generated, during the 2018 Global Overshoot Day, the Facebook group decided to transform itself into a non-governmental organization.

Currently, our main focus is to raise awareness of waste reduction and prevention through social media, discussion groups, seminars, educational lectures, conferences and media appearances. We also strive to contribute to the formulation of policies at the national and local levels.

How long have you worked in this field and what made you fall into (zero) waste?

In the past 10 years, I have been consciously trying to reduce my footprint, but I started to actively participate in zero waste in Latvia 2 years ago. The biggest push for my own waste awareness was when I started composting 7 years ago, I realized how much waste we could avoid. My friends all know that I am a waste reduction missionary. As a member of Latvian Zero Waste Organization, I am very happy to meet people who are 1,000 times more motivated than me.

Our mission is to make zero waste in Latvia mainstream.

What is your current role in the organization?

I am a member of the communications and outreach team, and my mission is to promote waste reduction. I am co-managing the zero waste social media account in Latvia, contributing to events, speaking at seminars, hosting meetings and contributing to other projects.

Tell us more about an activity/event you are doing?

Composting has always been a hot topic and has aroused great interest from the people of Latvia. Today, no small-scale composting is organized at any level in the country, so we are currently carrying out a collective composting pilot project. We plan to build our first formal collective composting facility in Riga, which will also help to formulate regulatory recommendations for the national and local levels.

Another project we are working on is understanding recycling errors. Our team will visit the recycling plant and analyze the waste from the differentiated collection. Through this activity, we hope to create easy-to-understand guidelines for users, companies, packaging designers, or anyone else involved in the creation of any type of packaging.

If you want your organization to be known for one thing, what would it be?

We are known as practicing zero waste experts, and when people want to start their zero waste journey, they will turn to them. Our Facebook discussion group is also to be proud of. From the simplest to the most technically complex issues, this is the place of choice for any problem related to waste reduction. We currently have more than 12,500 members.

Q6-How would you describe the development of the zero waste movement in your country? What is your view of the future?

In the past few years, the interest in the zero waste movement has been immense. Before COVID-19, and even now, we will receive requests for lectures in schools, organizations, and companies. In 2019 alone, our volunteers gave more than 50 speeches to audiences of 10-100 in various organizations or events.

If we were a business or a startup, investors would queue up: our "growth" was great.

As more and more people realize the climate challenge, zero waste has become a hot topic. We have also seen other organizations in Latvia actively talk about zero waste, and it is great to see that we are not alone.

About the latest post

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