an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Marc Kalina - University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher


Written as a reflection on Sardinia 2019, the purpose of this letter is to draw attention to a perceived failure within waste management studies to adequately engage with the socio-economic and socio-political conditions that drive the prodution of waste. By way of a solution, it proposes a return to Marxist dialectics and modes of anlaysis in order to reframe contemporary debates on waste management practices to include more critical discussion and engagement with the root causes of waste, specifically capitalist production and class- addressing the illness rather than merely treating the symptoms.


Editorial History

  • Received: 28 Oct 2019
  • Revised: 03 Dec 2019
  • Accepted: 20 Dec 2019
  • Available online: 05 Mar 2020


Ballantyne, H. (2017). How Meme Culture is Getting Teens into Marxism. Retrieved from

Benton, T. (1989). Marxism and Natural Limits. New Left Review, 1(178), 51-81

Clark, J. (1989). Marx's Inorganic Body. Environmental Ethics, 11(243-258)

Cohen, S. (2017). Understanding the Sustainable Lifestyle. European Financial Review, 2019, 7-9

Cole, C., Osmani, M., Quddus, M., Wheatley, A., & Kay, K. (2014). Towards a Zero Waste Strategy for an English Local Authority. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 89, 64-75.
DOI 10.1016/j.resconrec.2014.05.005

Cornea, N., Véron, R., & Zimmer, A. (2017). Clean city politics: An urban political ecology of solid waste in West Bengal, India. 49(4), 728-744.
DOI 10.1177/0308518x16682028

Doeland, L. (2019). Editorial: Letting Remainders Get Stuck in our Throats. Detritus, 7, 1-3

Ferkiss, V. (1993). Nature, Technology, and Society. New York: New York University Press

Foster, J. B. (1998). The Communist Manifesto and the Environment. Socialist Register, 34, 169-189

Foster, J. B. (2010). Marx and the Environment. In J. F. Sitton (Ed.), Marx Today (pp. 229-239). New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Franco-Garcia, M. L., Carpio-Aguilar, J. C., & Bressers, H. (Eds.). (2018). Towards Zero Waste: Circular Economy Boost, Waste to Resources: Springer

Getahun, T., Mengistie, E., Haddis, A., Wasie, F., Alemayehu, E., Dadi, D., . . . Assessment. (2012). Municipal solid waste generation in growing urban areas in Africa: current practices and relation to socioeconomic factors in Jimma, Ethiopia. 184(10), 6337-6345.
DOI 10.1007/s10661-011-2423-x

Giddens, A. (1981). A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. Berkeley: University of California Press

Harvey, D. (1996). Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. Malden, MA: Blackwell

Harvey, D. (2014). Seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism. London: Profile Books

Intersectionelle. (2019, October 13). We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need to eat the capitalists responsible [Facebook photo]. Retrieved from

Irwin, B. []. (2019, May 11). Just a daily reminder that “we don’t need a handful of people doing zerowaste perfectly, we need MILLIONS of people doing it imperfectly [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from

Johnson, B. (2013). Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste. New York, NY: Scribner

Korst, A. (2012). The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less. New York, NY: Ten Speed Press

Larson, M. (2019, October 19) ‘At what point does this stop being sustainable [Cartoon]. The New Yorker. Retrieved from

Marx, K. (1981). Capital (F. Engels Ed. Vol. III). London: Penguin

Moss, S. (2018). Striving for a low-waste lifestyle. MRS Bulletin, 43(7), 559-560.
DOI 10.1557/mrs.2018.174

Ndau, H., & Tilley, E. (2018). Willingness to Pay for Improved Household Solid Waste Collection in Blantyre, Malawi. Economies, 6(4), 54

Oyekale, A. S. (2015). Factors Explaining Households’ Cash Payment for Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Behaviors in South Africa. Sustainability, 7(12), 15882-15899

Sattlegger, L. (2019). From zero waste lifestyle to a garbage-free society? – The limits of waste avoidance in a growth-based society. Plastx: Scientific Bites. Retrieved from

Specter, F. (2019). HOW ‘ZERO WASTE’ BECAME beauty’s new buzzword. Healthy, June/July

Tan, G. (2019). An Analysis of the Zero Waste Movement. Retrieved from

Valenzuela, F., & Böhm, S. (2017). Against waste politics: A critique of the circular economy. Ephemera, 17, 23-60

Yates, M. (2011). The human-as-waste, the labor theory of value and disposability in contemporary capitalism. Antipode, 43(5), 1679-1695