In the poor developing countries of the Arab World, there is a lack of resources and infrastructure to dispose of waste. Most villages in rural areas still rely on uncontrolled burning of waste.
On the other side of the spectrum, wealthier oil-rich Arab nations have been relying on expensive technologies, such as incinerators, without considering the sustainability of such end-of-pipe technologies when consumption patterns in these countries are higher than most Western nations.
GAIA is campaigning on promoting zero waste in the Middle East and North Africa as a sustainable solution for both sides of the spectrum. GAIA members in this region are focusing their efforts on lobbying decision-makers in several developing and developed Arab nations to shift to this policy option. GAIA is also providing valuable communication on sustainable waste management at several initiatives emerging in the region. The alliance members regularly follow up on new projects that can lead to the development of non-sustainable technologies, such as incineration. They also push the zero waste concept at conferences, workshops and other events on the issue of waste management.
GAIA members in Lebanon have also led a strong anti-incineration campaign, which has resulted in the closure of all municipal waste incinerators and several medical waste incinerators in the country. Currently, all major hospitals in the capital city of Beirut rely on autoclaving as their preferred technology for medical waste treatment.