Waste is much more than a technical problem: it is part of a larger web of health, equity, race, power, gender, poverty, and governance issues.
Because of this, we only achieve true solutions when our work supports systems of social and economic justice and ecological sustainability. GAIA believes that we cannot win unless we see our specific struggle as inseparable from that of the broader movements toward social and economic justice and ecological sustainability.
We absolutely cannot stop toxic pollution without simultaneously promoting environmental and social justice, because pollution depends on and perpetuates injustice. Supporting the principles of environmental justice and Jemez principles is a fundamental component in our work for zero waste.
The concept of environmental justice applies to communities around the world that are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards due to a perceived disadvantage—”whether due to their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, lack of land ownership, geographic isolation, formal education, occupational characteristics, political power, gender, or other characteristic.” (Claudio, Luz. Standing on Principle: The Global Push for Environmental Justice. Environmental Health Perspective. 2007 Oct; 115(10): A500–A503)