It’s time to Refuse Single-Use Plastics

Environmentalists worldwide are stepping up their efforts to call businesses and global leaders to phase out single-use plastic (SUP) to address plastic pollution and the climate crises.  Onsite and online actions are organized in key cities around the world on January 6 to mount the Refuse Single Use Day. 

Led by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Zero Waste youth, and their allies expressed their demand to eliminate the production of SUPs. Around 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, yet less than 10 percent are recycled. Continued plastic production and consumption heats up global climate temperatures, depletes our resources, intoxicates the environment and creates public health issues, feeds incinerators, and chokes landfills and oceans. The most problematic form of plastic is SUP  meant for one-time use such as cups, cutleries, bottle drinks, plastic stirrers and plastic bags. 

Refuse Single Use Day is the opening of International Zero Waste Month (IZWM) as GAIA together with its members and allies,  doubled down on their commitment to creating a global movement that puts an end to waste pollution. The IZWM is a historic moment for the movement, built on its decades-long campaign to design and manage products and to avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste materials.

Back in 2014, then Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III designated the month of January of every year as National Zero Waste Month through Presidential Proclamation No. 760. The observance also coincides with the signing anniversary of the Philippine Republic Act 9003 known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”. Both efforts were envisioned to address waste pollution.

Fast forward to 2020, GAIA Asia Pacific led the Zero Waste Month celebration in the region culminating in a global celebration this 2023.

Kicking the month-long celebration of Zero Waste wins, the 1st ever Refuse Single-Use Day is envisioned to galvanize leaders to declare a phase-out of SUPs and craft an ambitious Global Plastics Treaty. Refuse Single-Use Day is designed to coincide with the IZWM to underscore the importance of paving the path towards a Zero Waste future. 

With the theme Zero Waste to Zero Emissions, this month-long celebration hopes to highlight the connection between waste and climate, and highlight proven Zero Waste solutions as powerful climate action. Implementing Zero Waste strategies can reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from waste of up to an average of 84%.

This Refuse Single-Use Day, GAIA Asia Pacific is posing the challenge not only to individuals but also to communities, organizations, and institutions to take the pledge and take action for the environment. It’s time to refuse and say no to single-use cups, cutlery, plastic bags, and more.  Share your stories on our Facebook page. 

The International Zero Waste Month is made possible in partnership with the following media outlets: Advocates (Philippines), Bandung Bergerak (Indonesia), Business Ecology (China), The Business Post (Bangladesh), The Manila Times (Philippines), Pressenza (Global), Rappler (Philippines), Sunrise Today (Pakistan), The Recombobulator Lab (Global), and Republic Asia. 


GAIA is a network of grassroots groups as well as national and regional alliances representing more than 1000 organizations from 92 countries. For more information, visit or follow GAIA Asia Pacific on social media: FacebookTwitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok


Sonia G. Astudillo, Senior Communications Officer, +63 9175969286,

Dan Abril, Communications Associate,