Volume XXXVI • Issue 2/3 • 2019

Waste and Globalised Inequalities

Special Issue Guest Editors: Nicolas Schlitz, Stefan Laser


Global capitalism has changed drastically during the past three decades. Key to this is its exponential growth, coupled with an enormous production of waste. The resultant ‘global waste problem’ in fact involves different types of waste and gives rise to variegated practices of waste handling at multiple sites. In this special issue, the authors discuss waste through a focus on inequalities. Contrary to the all-embracing notion of a 'global waste problem', there is nothing (normatively) equal in the way people are entangled in, and affected by, the production of waste and the processes of wasting. The consequences of waste and pollution are shared unequally, laying the ground for vast injustices. The articles in this issue encourage a more critical and situated understanding of waste-related inequalities and their global connections. Scholars and activists alike need to face frictions through waste in order to make sense of the particular global connections and inequalities related to changing patterns of wasting.




Stefan Laser, Nicolas Schlitz

Facing Frictions: Waste and Globalised Inequalities


Yvan Schulz

Scrapping ‘Irregulars’: China’s Recycling Policies, Development Ethos and Peasants Turned Entrepreneurs


Nicolas Schlitz

Recycling Economies and the Use-Value of Waste: Scrap Shops in Kolkata, India


Yvan Iyer

The ‘Abolishing’ of Manual Scavenging: Negotiations with Caste and Occupation in Ahmedabad


Isabella de Carvalho Vallin, Sylmara Gonçalves Dias
The Double Burden of Environmental Injustice in a Female Waste Pickers Cooperative in Brazil


Robert Hafner, Frank Zirkl
Waste De_marginalised? A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Effects of In_formal Recycling Activities. Argentina, Brazil and Germany Revisited


Kathrin Eitel
Matter in and out of Place: A Story About Wastefulness, Hybridity, and Flows of Plastic


Max Liboiron
Discard Studies: Doing Science Differently


Stefan Laser
Who Carries the Weight of Digital Technologies? What is its Weight Anyway?


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