GAIA IN ASIA PACIFIC
Falsely blamed as the source of pollution and the nexus of our plastic crisis, the Asia Pacific region is full of examples that counter this narrative perpetuated by an unjust system of waste trade across countries. GAIA’s work in Asia Pacific is focused on spotlighting and providing support for the many innovative and on-the-ground zero waste solutions. Our work also seeks to remedy the systemic injustices of global waste trade—which depends on the cheap labor and lower standards of environmental protection in developing countries—by stopping waste trade and putting an end to burn technologies such as incinerators exported from countries in the Global North, China, and Japan.
In the span of 20 years, GAIA Asia Pacific has successfully shut down 19 incinerator projects and proposals, influenced governments to allocate annual budget towards the inclusion of waste pickers and zero waste sites in several cities, strengthened extended producer responsibility legislation through brand audits in India, and implemented plastic waste bans across the region.
A campaign to call out international financing institutions (IFIs), governments, and investors to walk the talk by withdrawing support for incinerators and other false solutions to waste management, pollution, and fossil fuel-based energy sources. We demand that finance be shifted to accelerated, just, and transformative solutions.
The Global Plastics Treaty: Asia Pacific Perspectives
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution or INC 2, 3, 4, and 5 are happening in the next two years. While some see this as an opportunity to push forward our plastics work, some see it as lip service to a treaty with no binding commitments from countries to really put an end to plastic pollution.
Communities on the Frontlines of the Global Plastic Crisis
When China took action to protect its borders from foreign plastic pollution by effectively shutting its doors to plastic waste imports in the beginning of 2018, it threw the global plastic recycling industry into chaos. Wealthy countries had grown accustomed to exporting their plastic problems, with little thought or effort to ensure that the plastic they were exporting got recycled and did not harm other countries. North Americans and Europeans exported not just their plastic waste, but the pollution that went with getting rid of it.
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