Waste, in general?? A serious pet peeve and concern of mine! I am a huge RE-Cycler!! Use, re-use and use again. Find a way to make something useful out of as much as possible. Use a little common sense, be frugal and be creative.
There are numerous reasons for all the waste. From my own observations, I see some laziness. It's easier to throw something into the trash, rather than find a way to repair it, or find a new use for it. I don't believe that people take CARE of their things any more, to extend the life of an item. It takes a little TIME to make sure that an appliance, for instance, is cleaned, oiled, & otherwise maintained, so that it works properly and doesn't break down prematurely.
It's also laziness to not re-cycle glass, plastic and paper appropriately, so that these items can be taken to where they are broken down and used to make more product..
There's food waste, paper waste, clothing waste.....You're right, there's just too much waste. On an individual level, just a little bit of effort can change this problem, drastically.
Industrially, I believe that large manufacturing companies are doing a better job, even if some need to be mandated to do so.
Good question. I hope it sparks some "AWARENESS"....