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Table 1 The difference between traditional waste management and zero-waste management ([91])

From: Plastics: are they part of the zero-waste agenda or the toxic-waste agenda?

Traditional Waste Management Zero-Waste Management
Waste is considered as the end of the resource life cycle Waste is considered as resource in transition or an intermediate phase of a resource life cycle.
Perceives waste as mainly a technological problem and thus often relies on engineering solutions (e.g. landfill, incineration) Perceives waste as both social and technological problem and thus seeks social technology (e.g. reuse/recycling) as well as engineering (e.g. anaerobic digestion) solutions
Highly depends on landfill and incineration technologies Highly depends on waste avoidance and prohibits landfill and incineration technologies.
Allows resource depletion for recovering resources from waste, e.g. waste-to-energy Conservation of resources instead of depletion, e.g. reuse and recycle instead of waste-to-energy
Limited job opportunities Comparatively a higher number of job opportunities