The Zero Waste Festival was founded by Zero Waste Victoria, a community started on Facebook when Hannah Mitchell saw a need for a local zero waste group.

As the community grew, attracting some of the who’s-who of the waste-free industry, Zero Waste Victoria leapt out of the digital space and in to education activations within Victorian councils, businesses, schools and community groups. Wanting to spread the message even further and include the wider zero waste community, the Zero Waste Festival was born.

Now in it’s 3rd year, not-for-profit charity Zero Waste Festival (Saturday 6 – Sunday 14 June 2020) continues it’s mission to inspire and empower people to reduce plastic consumption and waste through everyday choices and actions. This year it will be taking it’s festival programme online, to coincide with social distancing regulations, with a diverse lineup of live interviews, panels, workshops and discussions from some of the leading change-makers in the  industry.

Over a series of conversations designed to inspire zero-waste actions, the Zero Waste Festival Online will include sessions like ‘Imagine a world without waste with Joost Bakker, Matt Stone & Jo Barrett‘, ‘Waste-Less Community: Working together in a shift towards zero waste’, ‘Plastic Solutions: “The Story of Plastic” film, a panel & workshop on how can we be part of the plastic pollution solution?’ and ‘Slow Fashion – Revive, repair and re-imagine your wardrobe’. Ticket prices range from free (with a donation) to $15 depending on which sessions you would like to attend. What’s even better is that festival bookings are being sold through Humanitix, which is a great charity with all booking fees going to educate underprivileged children.

We’ve included some of our top picks of sessions we will be attending below. If there’s one festival you grab a ticket for this year, then it should be this one. The Zero Waste Festival Online is one not to be missed!


Imagine a World Without Waste with Joost Bakker, Matt Stone & Jo Barrett

Aptly name as the ‘Poster boy of zero waste living’ by The New York Times Joost Bakker is a discipline crossing creative, innovator and entrepreneur whose mission is to show us how to “imagine a world without waste” with real life researched solutions. He has pushed the boundaries of architecture, hospitality, floristry, growing food and design through his zero waste restaurants Silo and later Brothl (nutritious bone broth from A+ grade bones from top restaurants such as Rockpool) to lining Hosier Lane with free tulips that were destined for compost to highlight the waste in the floristry industry. He sees the potential and believes there is no such thing as waste because waste is a failure of the imagination.

He will be joined by Matt Stone & Jo Barrett. Matt is Head Chef at the esteemed Oakridge in the Yarra Valley and Jo is Head Pastry Chef and Senior Sous-Chef and together with their teams they are earning some serious applause in their respective fields. Matt and Jo both worked at Joost’s zero waste restaurants Greenhouse by Joost, Silo by Joost and Brothl.

They will be presenting a hands on solution to getting local, connected and reducing your waste. You won’t want to miss this as they will be announcing their exciting new innovation project that kicks off in Melbourne next month!

TICKETS FREE-$10 (donation) +BF

Plastic Solutions: “The Story of Plastic” film, a panel & workshop on how can we be part of the plastic pollution solution?

Zero Waste Victoria will present a screening of “The Story of Plastic” by the crew from “The Story of Stuff”, followed by an expert panel empowering action and solutions against plastic pollution.

Joining the panel will be Fam Charko (Marine biologist, EcoCentre), Heidi Tait (Tangaroa Blue Foundation), Rebecca Prinz-Ruiz (Plastic Free July/Plastic Free Foundation) and Dale Martin (Plastic Bag Free Victoria). The panel will be hosted by passionate educator Anthony Hill (Plastic Pollution Solution).

The Story of Plastic takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing. With engaging original animation, archival industry footage beginning in the 1930s, and first-person accounts of the unfolding emergency, the film distils a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet’s and its residents’ well-being. The Story of Plastic serves as a tool to foster connection, spark dialogue and create action.

The Story of Plastic will be followed by a panel discussion. Four Zero Waste pioneers and environmental changemakers unite in conversation to share their collective genius on real solutions to the plastic crisis. You’ll hear how these intrepid individuals on the front-lines of plastic pollution use their unique, community based and data driven action to stop waste from the source, and how you can join the movement.

TICKETS FREE-$10 (donation) +BF

Slow Fashion – Revive, repair and re-imagine your wardrobe

This workshop series will revive and repair your relationship with your wardrobe. With fashion as one of the world’s largest pollutants, Nina Gborr (award-winning sustainability advocate, ethical fashion speaker and eco stylist) reveals the ugly side of fashion, and where those impulse purchases end up after just one wear. Jenna Flood (slow fashion stylist, Ironic Minimalist) re-introduces you to the forgotten hero pieces in your wardrobe, with advice on restyling old pieces and eco-fashion. Tamara Russell (Textile Artist specialising in free machine embroidery, hand stitching and mending) arms you with the skills to repair and revitalise pieces that deserve a second chance, saving them from landfill.

This workshop series will remind you that buying the latest trends isn’t necessary to express your individuality, by creating a bond with the pieces you already have will rekindle your love and be much kinder to the earth.

TICKETS FREE-$10 (donation) +BF

Zero Waste: Flattening the curve of growth economics in households and community for a zero waste society

Meg Ulman and Patrick Jones (Artist as Family) discuss all the things they do in their every day to divest from consumer culture and grow their ecological economy of place.

Patrick and Meg live on Dja Dja Wurrung country in Central Victoria on a quarter-acre permaculture plot, home to the School of Applied Neopeasantry at Tree Elbow University.

They base their creative practice on the concept of permapoesis, which simply means permanent making or regenerative living – an antidote to disposable culture.

TICKETS FREE-$10 (donation) +BF

The Arts: How can it inspire, move & empower change?

The Arts Panel will be exploring how the arts inspire, move and empower people for change.

The Arts Panel brings together five individuals creating memorable art with powerful messages inspiring community connection and environmental regeneration. Learn how the arts inspire, move and empower people for change from Charlie McGee (musician of sustainable living inspired band, Formidable Vegetable), Karin Ecker (filmmaker fighting plastic pollution), Khory Hancock(environmental scientist aka the ‘Environmental Cowboy’), Carla Scotto and Brenna Quinlan (two illustrators using drawings to change the world).

Followed by a screening of Karin Ecker’s film ‘Plastic Alarm’ featuring her son, Plastic Free Boy.

TICKETS FREE-$10 (donation) +BF

Will you be attending the Zero Waste Festival? For more zero waste tips, head over to our article ZERO WASTE FOOD TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL COMPOSTING AWARENESS WEEK