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Strategies towards Zero Waste: Sustainable Waste Management and Recycling

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2024 | Viewed by 814

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Arturo Prat University, Iquique 1110939, Chile
Interests: green synthesis of nanomaterials; mining and e-waste recycling; transformation of raw materials; environmental remediation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A large quantity of waste is produced daily as a result of different anthropogenic activities, of which at least one-third does not receive adequate management and ends up in garbage dumps and landfills. Inadequate waste disposal generates severe health and environmental problems, such as air, soil, and water pollution. Additionally, indirect and complex problems have been associated with waste accumulation and poor management, including biodiversity loss, emerging pollutants and diseases, and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.

Recycling of waste has been proposed as a suitable tool for minimizing the adverse impacts of waste on the environment and society. In addition, economic benefits can be obtained with the development of recycling because new products and services can be generated profitably. However, the waste recycling industry is not yet well developed due to different factors, including the lack of infrastructure and technologies, scarcity of promotion of recycling, and socioeconomic and cultural factors that affect its implementation in all areas of society.

Waste management and recycling are essential strategies within the circular economy, which reduces the use of natural resources and efficiently uses recycled materials. The importance of management and recycling of waste in sustainable development has attracted the attention of different researchers and piqued the interest of public and private institutions related to innovation and the development of new processes, products, and services.

This Special Issue, “Strategies towards Zero Waste: Sustainable Waste Management and Recycling”, focuses on the development and applications of innovative strategies to reduce the generation of waste from various sectors of production, such as the steel, mining, food, agriculture, textile, electrical, and electronic industries, among others. The aim is to offer an open platform for researchers to share recent advances in managing and recycling industrial waste.

In the present Special Issue, original short communications, research articles, and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Innovative waste management and recycling methodologies.
  • Recovery of raw materials from industrial waste (clothes, e-waste, food, tailings, and sludge).
  • Innovative alternatives to generate new products and services from waste.
  • Biological approaches to reduce the impacts of waste on the environment.
  • Applications in agriculture, food, medicine, construction, and industry.
  • Studies on the social, economic, and environmental impact of adapting waste management and recycling strategies.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Erico Carmona
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • clothing recycling
  • e-waste
  • industrial waste
  • mining waste
  • plastics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 3475 KiB  
Goodbye Plastic Bags? Lessons from the Shopping Plastic Bag Ban in Chile
by Maximiliano Frey and Luis A. Cifuentes
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3690; - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 615
Bans on single-use plastic shopping bags (SUPBs) are a popular policy to tackle plastic pollution. However, their success has been evaluated solely based on reduced SUPBs consumption, ignoring the impacts of substitutes. This article addresses this gap by analyzing the Chilean plastic bag [...] Read more.
Bans on single-use plastic shopping bags (SUPBs) are a popular policy to tackle plastic pollution. However, their success has been evaluated solely based on reduced SUPBs consumption, ignoring the impacts of substitutes. This article addresses this gap by analyzing the Chilean plastic bag ban law. Results show a reduction of ~249 kilotons of SUPBs consumed and a change in the materiality of shopping bags (mainly toward paper), but also an increase of more than 50% of bin liners after the enactment of the ban. Despite some undesired effects, an improvement in the environmental performance of the bag market is obtained in fifteen of the eighteen categories studied. The environmental impacts are on average 38% lower than in the counterfactual scenario. This suggests that the law is being effective in protecting the environment. The strictness of the ban and its rapid enforcement were positive aspects of its design, but ignoring the end-of-life of the bags could be limiting its impact. To reduce the environmental impact of substitutes, it is recommended to create design guidelines for shopping bags and bin liners. Full article
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