GAIA advances successful, community-driven waste solutions through systems change and policy advocacy. Our efforts focus on three initiatives: promoting zero waste, reducing problematic waste streams like plastic, and putting an end to the ineffective and hazardous practice of burning waste.

Fight Pollution

Fight Plastic Pollution

GAIA works with cities on zero waste systems, secures policies that reduce production and consumption of single-use disposable plastics, and supports powerful grassroots movements to fight plastic pollution at its source.

Fight waste-to-energy incinirators and cement kilns

GAIA members around the world are shutting down incinerators and cement kilns, blocking construction of new ones, and working to create clean energy solutions instead.

Build Solutions

Promote zero waste models

The GAIA network is rich with models of successful zero waste initiatives, we make a particular effort to share these models on our online platforms and beyond.

Support recycling workers and wastepicker rights

GAIA believes that advocating for recycler and wastepicker rights is an important part of working for environmental justice and zero waste. To this end, GAIA stands in solidarity with wastepickers to demand safe working conditions, fair wages and voice in the policy decisions that shape their lives.

How do we do it?

Building coalitions and community to community support

The GAIA network consists of national and regional coalitions bringing together local groups working on zero waste communities, and empowering communities to advocate for fairness and sustainability.

Debunking the “waste to energy” myth

GAIA members push back on the false narratives around waste and expose the waste-to-energy incinerator projects and companies for what they really are: a threat to our health and the environment.

Organizing across borders

GAIA members work together on issues that are bigger than one place, regularly exchange information, and organize across borders to increase awareness of the powerful climate impact of zero waste

What we think:

Currently, the corporate drive for profit spurs an unsustainable cycle of drilling, clearcutting, and mining our natural resources, consuming them at unsustainable rates, burning or burying the waste, and dumping the remaining toxic ash in landfills.

This linear economic model violates the principles of environmental justice and is dangerous for our health and our planet.

A New Economy

GAIA is committed to a complete overhaul of the extractive economy, and to the birth of a circular system where all people can enjoy their right to a safe and healthy environment, and where no community bears the burden of these unsustainable patterns. Our goal is clean production and the creation of a closed loop where all products are composted, reused, repaired or recycled.