Zero Waste Youth Manifesto


November 2019 - Cascais, Portugal



We are 7,6 billions of people in the world.

We are producing 2 billion tons of trash every year.

We are taking raw material from nature and not giving back on the right way.

We are polluting and destroying our land, air, river and seas.

But today

We are here to change.

We are here to connect with people.

We are here to talk about waste management.

We are here to see great initiatives.

We are here to talk about how we can solve this problem.

We are here to plant seeds for the future.

We are here because we believe in this movement.

We are here because we are not alone.

We are here and we are ONE.

We Are the Zero Waste Youth.


The Zero Waste Youth movement is a group engaged in the dissemination of the Zero Waste concept. We develop, apply and promote sustainable models and practices. We work on the redefinition of the concept "waste". We point to the fact that what we call "waste" is actually a resource. We seek to develop individual responsibility for the waste generation and management.


Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfillsincinerators, or the ocean. Currently, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. In a zero waste system, material will be reused until the optimum level of consumption. The definition adopted by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) is:  Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. 


Zero Waste refers to waste prevention as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. It is a whole systems approach that aims for a massive change in the way materials flow through society, resulting in no waste. It encompasses more than eliminating waste through recycling and reuse, it focuses on restructuring production and distribution systems to reduce waste. Zero waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target. Zero Waste provides guiding principles for continually working towards eliminating waste. We also see social equity as fundamental for a sustainable society since the ones who suffer the most with pollution and an inefficient waste management are the ones that live in vulnerable socioeconomic conditions. 


Zero Waste Youth Values: 


  • Sustainability: we believe that sustainability comes in three pillars: social, economic and environmental.

  • Cooperation: we believe that together we can reach our goals with larger and more effective impact. 

  • Innovation: we believe that through innovation we find better solutions to create this new era that is to come. 

  • Social and environmental responsibility: we believe that from the moment we realize our responsibilities and the consequences that our actions have in the world, we'll have more empathy, treating each other and the planet with the proper love and respect, only by reaching all the layers of the society, including the most vulnerable ones, we will be able to solve the pollution problem. 



To build awareness, gather and empower youth to seek for solutions for a world without waste. 








  • We are grateful for our mother nature, and every living being that surrounds us, therefore, we must respect our roots and conserve all resources.

  • We are committed to create a different perspective of waste, where there is no waste, only resources. We believe we can achieve that by empowering conscious production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. Making choices towards a zero waste lifestyle means to take care of nature and each other.

  • We believe there is no segregation between humanity and nature, we are nature, therefore, by making sustainable and conscious choices we are reconnecting with our essence.

  • We believe education and compassion are the most powerful tools to promote the change and awareness, therefore we bring the zero waste concept into schools, universities and communities.

  • The use of disposables is not acceptable anymore. The zero waste legacy rescues the sense of collective responsibility, we commit to refuse single use plastic by empowering people to bring their own utensils or look for alternatives for disposable plastic items.

  • We are part of the reuse revolution, therefore, rethink our consumption is always our first step.

  • We reject linear economy. We support sustainable companies, organizations and alternative system shifts based in circular and shared economies.

  • We believe that through knowledge, innovation and cooperation we can create solutions and alternatives for a new, circular,  conscious and inclusive system. 

  • We believe in humanity. And we shall be guided by love and compassion by one another. Together we are stronger.


Being zero waste is being revolutionary. 

We are this revolution.