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GRI-rapport 2014:1. Action nets for waste prevention

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GRI-rapport 2014:1
Action nets for waste prevention
Hervé Corvellec & Barbara Czarniawska

Abstract

Although waste prevention is considered the best possible option in the European waste-hierarchy model, it is not always clear what is meant by “waste prevention”. This chapter presents three cases of waste prevention, selected to illustrate the variety of these practices: a waste-management company selling waste-prevention services, the opportunity for Swedish householders to opt out of unaddressed promotional material, and a car-sharing program. The analysis is informed by an action net perspective, focusing on the way organizing comprises connecting actions, often prior to or in conflict with networking among actors. Through each of these examples, we demonstrate how waste prevention depends on specific physical artifacts and infrastructures and is the result of specific ways of connecting actions. In conclusion, we emphasize that waste prevention rests on the emergence of new modes and patterns of interactions that both build and disrupt the existing institutional order of consumption. We also stress that waste prevention as it is discussed in this chapter is not a step forward in the European waste hierarchy but constitutes a break with the traditional notion of waste management.

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