First Global Plastics Treaty Intergovernmental Meeting Concludes With a Mix of High and Low Points

Break Free From Plastic members worldwide respond to the main high and low points after a week of negotiations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2 December, 2022

Punta del Este, Uruguay – The first intergovernmental committee meeting (INC-1) for an internationally legally binding instrument on plastic pollution convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded today with a mix of high and low moments, setting the stage for a two-year-long process that could result in one of the most significant multilateral environmental agreements in history. 

Positive outcomes included demands calling for reductions in plastic production and use, eliminating toxic substances associated with the plastic life cycle, protecting human health, and need for a just transition, backed by many member States and even two of the worst plastic polluters, Nestle and Unilever. The participation from member States from Latin American, the Caribbean, African, and Pacific nations–especially small island developing states–was particularly notable, bringing a strong voice for urgency and high ambition in these treaty negotiations. 

Additionally, a diverse coalition of civil society members and rights-holders provided vital expertise and typically underrepresented perspectives across the full plastics lifecycle. In particular, the leadership of waste pickers resulted in the launch of the Just Transition Initiative (building upon its earlier iteration as the Group of Friends of Wastepickers), which will ensure their representation at future INCs and bring visibility to more than 20 million people who work as waste pickers worldwide.

Unfortunately, one of the most contentious topics, the adoption of the Rules of Procedure, a document that will determine how States and organizations can engage in future negotiations, has yet to be finalized and was moved to INC-2 in May, 2023. The outstanding issues include whether EU Member States will each have a vote or whether they will be treated as a single bloc during voting, and whether decisions should only be arrived at via consensus. To many observers, the latter seems to be a ploy to weaken strong measures that could be adopted to reduce plastic production. 

Additionally, precious negotiation time was spent discussing the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, a roundtable discussion organized a day before the start of the negotiations to deliver a report to the INC, despite the fact that it is not included in the mandate to develop the treaty and the entire enterprise appears to be an effort to divert and prevent the voices of civil society and rightsholders from direct and more meaningful forms of participation in the treaty development process. As a result, BFFP members demanded that the INC design a negotiation process that facilitates meaningful access for rightsholders and recognizes the critical role of civil society groups such as Indigenous Peoples, scientists, workers from formal and informal sectors, trade unions, and climate-vulnerable and frontline communities in bringing valuable experiences to all aspects of the process and the future instrument. 

During the first few days of negotiation, advocates expressed concerns about the presence of leading corporate polluters  in the negotiation process and the lack of transparency from UNEP on how many of them are hiding behind NGO badges. Stakeholders who participated in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control advocated strongly for the exclusion of the plastics industry in negotiations, building   from their success in excluding perpetrators from tobacco negotiations, which resulted in a stronger and more effective framework.

In terms of future INC venues, country delegates agreed to host the next INC-2 exclusively in-person in Paris, the week of May 22nd, 2023 as long as visas can be issued to all negotiators of  Member State delegations  at least two weeks in advance of the meetings. Otherwise, the meeting will be moved to Nairobi. 

Today after the conclusion of INC-1, the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement launched a global petition which includes essential elements for the treaty to effectively reverse the plastic pollution crisis.

Break Free From Plastic members react to the end of the Plastics Treaty INC-1:

Maddie Koena, the South African member of the delegation of International Alliance of Waste Pickers (South Africa), said: 

“It’s been good this week to see such widespread recognition of the vital role we waste pickers play. Now countries need to design the treaty with our livelihoods and human rights in mind.  Personally I’m very pleased to see my country of South Africa leading the way on this, alongside Kenya, by launching the Just Transition Initiative as a joint initiative with the International Alliance of Waste Pickers and other stakeholders.”

Alejandra Parra, Co-Founder, Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales RADA, and GAIA Advisor (Chile), said:

“As organizations working with local communities most impacted by pollution, we know the urgency of achieving a treaty to reduce the production of plastics to stop the flood of microplastics in our water, in our air, in our food, and in our bodies. We can’t remove all of these microplastics from the environment but we can stop them from entering now.”

Jane Patton, Plastics and Petrochemicals Campaign Manager, Center for International Environmental Law (USA and Switzerland), said: 

“This week, an incredible coalition of over 100 civil society and rights-holder organizations came together to say “No mas plasticos!” on the global stage. These dedicated advocates pushed for solutions to plastic pollution on the scale of the crisis we are facing. The planet cannot handle the plastics that have already been produced, let alone an onslaught of new production. Only through dedicated inclusion of these voices can we negotiate an effective treaty to truly end plastic pollution.”

Joan Marc, Executive Director, Zero Waste Europe (Belgium), said:

“It is encouraging to see how the majority of countries participating in the first session of the Global Plastic Treaty in Uruguay spoke in favour of ambitious goals to change the way we use plastic, from tackling production to addressing health impacts. Unfortunately, for as long as the system continues to allow a few oil and plastic producing countries to veto the decisions of the majority, the fate of this plastic treaty can only resemble that of the climate treaties and lead to the lowest ambition. The negotiations didn’t start well, let’s redouble efforts to show the impact of plastic pollution so that taking action is inexcusable!”

Ana Rocha, Executive Director, Nipe Fagio (Tanzania), said:

“Vulnerable communities have consistently played a major role in plastic waste management despite being historically neglected in waste management systems and is significantly affected by plastic production. Working with waste pickers and waste cooperatives that lead zero waste models in Tanzania, we witness the impact of plastic in our communities. Companies with revenue higher than our GDP produce plastic that we don’t have the capacity to manage, neither should it be our responsibility, and flood our markets. These products do not make goods available to people unless they can afford them, so we face the contradiction of people drinking untreated water while their environment and waterways are filled with plastic bottles.”

Graham Forbes, Global Plastics Project Lead, Greenpeace USA (USA), said: 

“We cannot let oil producing countries, at the behest of big oil and petrochemical companies, dominate and slow down the treaty discussions and weaken its ambition. If the plastics industry has its way, plastic production could double within the next 10-15 years, and triple by 2050 – with catastrophic impacts on our planet and its people. The High Ambition Coalition must show leadership by pushing the negotiations forward and calling for more ambitious measures which protect our health, our climate and our communities from the plastics crisis.” 

Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator, Break Free From Plastic (Philippines), said:

“It was extremely gratifying to hear some of the world’s worst plastic polluters like Nestle and Unilever call for a cap on virgin plastic production and the need for a global plastic treaty based on mandatory policy. Both companies also expressed the need to eliminate problematic plastics. Now they should lead by example and change their own business models to match their statements. Consumer goods companies have played a huge role in perpetuating the plastic crisis, they can also help solve it. Companies must invest in reuse systems instead of single-use, eliminate problematic packaging types like sachets, and drastically reduce their plastic use.”

Additional reactions from BFFP members and allies are available here.

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Notes to the editor

  • Coalition members and country delegates photo available here (Photo Credit: John Chweya)
  • BFFP members with INC Chair, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, available here (Photo Credit: GAIA)
  • INC-1 Cartoons available here
  • Images of Fenceline Watch and Greenpeace projections in Punta del Este

About BFFP #BreakFreeFromPlastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in 2016, more than 2,700 organizations and 11,000 individual supporters from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. BFFP member organizations and individuals share the values of environmental protection and social justice and work together through a holistic approach to bring about systemic change. This means tackling plastic pollution across the whole plastics value chain – from extraction to disposal – focusing on prevention rather than cure and providing effective solutions. www.breakfreefromplastic.org.

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GAIA Delegation Reflection on Achievements and Shortfalls at COP27

By Mariel Vilella, Climate Program Director, with contributions from GAIA staff and members

  • General Summary The development at negotiations was an agreement to a Loss and Damage Fund, which although empty and low on specifics, is an important step forward for climate justice in the Global South. READ MORE
  • Highlights on Waste Management The Global Methane Pledge was expanded, but still lacking in implementation. Egypt released its 50 by 2050 Initiative to treat or recycle 50% of waste in the region by 2050. READ MORE
  • GAIA’s Impact at COP27 GAIA had a robust international delegation to uplift zero waste as a key climate solution. We hosted and spoke at over a dozen panels, press conferences, and country pavilions reaching national delegates, climate NGOs, media, and other influencers with our key messages. READ MORE
  • Member Reflections on COP27 Members of GAIA’s delegation share their thoughts on what COP27 means in the broader fight to stop waste and climate pollution and build zero waste solutions. READ MORE

General Summary

Loss and Damage Demonstration in the COP27 Blue Zone. Photo courtesy of Sami Dellah.

In general terms, COP27 will be remembered for the agreement to a Loss and Damage Fund to support vulnerable nations. The Fund, despite coming empty and without much clarity on exactly who will pay for what and where, it’s a major achievement credited to all the civil society organisations and vulnerable countries in the Global South that have been demanding it for decades. Indeed, it is a first step towards securing the provision of rescue and rebuilding support to areas stricken by climate change impacts, and can be seen as the opening of a space for cooperation between developed and developing countries.

On the other hand, COP27 did not advance any further ambition to reduce GHG emissions and close the existing gap between current national pledges and the Paris Agreement goal –  analysis shows that the world is still on track to 2.4°C by 2100 (unchanged from last year). After last year’s unambitious round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), countries pledged to bring new, more ambitious plans this year. But few did and, while the goal of keeping the temperature rise under 1.5 degrees is still formally in place, it is slipping farther out of reach. The final text fails to provide a stronger mandate on how to get there, reflecting a failure of the “ratchet mechanism,” the Paris Agreement’s fundamental lever to increase ambition over time. Once again, the core of the stagnant negotiation is related to the use of fossil fuels, with countries blaming each other for failing to cut ties with these polluting energy sources particularly in rich countries of the Global North, which continue to avoid their historic responsibility in causing climate change in the first place. This historic divide may play out even more significantly next year, where the COP will be hosted by the petro-state UAE. 

While there was no language on phasing down fossil fuels at COP27, countries have another opportunity this week at the global plastics treaty INC1 to advance a restriction on the production of plastic, which would effectively deliver a reduction in the use of fossil fuels. 

On the climate finance front, COP 27 called for the need to transform international financial institutions (MDBs, IFIs) to align their practices and priorities with much-needed climate action– a development that could pose an opportunity to drive climate finance in the waste sector and phase out support for polluting waste disposal industries. Recent remarkable examples of this trend have been the European Investment Bank and the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance, which have excluded waste-to-energy incineration for its negative impacts on climate change and circular economy. Other financial institutions e.g. ADB or IDB, still overly reliant on waste disposal technologies, could indeed help the climate by responding to this call and aligning their climate policies with the Waste Hierarchy. Moreover, climate finance advocates reminded parties that international climate flows are way too small compared to the needs of developing countries which amounts to trillions of dollars per year, with a growing concern that carbon offsets are being presented as the solution to finance the energy transition in developing countries when they should be treated as a form of climate colonialism.

Last but not least, an important general consideration worth noting was that the COP was hosted by a repressive state, with such a critical track record of human rights violations, which brought issues around freedom of speech and political prisoners to the forefront of the climate battle. Also, the reported surveillance, the ever-increasing presence of fossil fuels lobbyists, and questions over Coca-Cola’s sponsorship contributed to an atmosphere that felt hostile to civil society. Ultimately, the fact that the traditional climate justice march could only be hosted within the UN territory was a testimony of how civil liberties were limited and severely restricted, signaling the interconnections between climate chaos and authoritarianism


Highlights on waste management

The agenda for waste management at COP27 had remarkably high stakes – considering that waste has never really been at the centre of the climate negotiations previously. This time, two main global policy initiatives – the Global Methane Pledge and the Egypt-hosted Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050 – put waste into the spotlight in an unprecedented way, pushing a wide range of organisations, researchers and policy-makers to reflect on the interlinkages between waste and climate change, and engaging with the GAIA delegation like never before. 

The Global Methane Pledge

The Global Methane Pledge (GMP), launched at COP26 and supported by more than a hundred countries that pledged to cut collective methane emissions 30% by 2030, renewed its momentum and increased the number of committed countries. At the high-level ministerial hosted by CATF, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans launched a joint statement to mobilise further support for the Global Methane Pledge. Twenty four new countries announced that they will join the Global Methane Pledge, increasing the total number to more than 150 countries. Of those 150, many countries have developed national methane action plans or are in the process of doing so, with progress being made on new pathways to drive emissions reductions from the energy, agriculture, and waste sectors. From GAIA’s point of view, the renewed commitment to the GMP is worth celebrating, yet it remains  to be seen how it will be implemented in the waste sector (read our reaction here).

The new Global Methane Pledge Pathway on waste includes five strategies (see full details here): 

  • Enhancing Measurement and Tracking: with several initiatives undertaken by Carbon Mapper, RMI, and CATF are looking at identifying critical sources of methane in landfills and dumpsites and leveraging the data to drive the policy-making towards methane emissions reductions. 
  • Scaling up Subnational Action: the new initiative Subnational Climate Action Leaders Exchange (SCALE), supported by the U.S. State Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies, aims to help cities, states, and regions develop and implement methane reduction plans. This initiative complements the Pathway Towards Zero Waste joined by 13 cities at the October 2022 C40 World Mayors Summit. 
  • Reducing Food Loss and Waste: several initiatives are aiming to act on food loss and waste, including the set up of a Food Waste Management Accelerator in 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean; a new effort to quantify and track food banking methane mitigation with the Global Food Banking Network; plus other projects on food loss by IDB and the USAID, scaling up efforts in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, and/or Tanzania.
  • Regional Platforms: at the regional level, the IDB is planning to fund methane reduction projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and will be launching the Too Good to Waste facility to implement waste projects related to methane mitigation.
  • Mobilising Investment: the implementation of the GMP Waste Pathway will require  scaling up investment in waste methane abatement, which so far it has involved the Government of Canada, the U.S. government, the African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Methane Hub, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Importantly, the methane reductions pledges have been followed by more than 20 philanthropies announcing combined commitments of over $200 million to support implementation of the Global Methane Pledge. This funding will “build upon and sustain action from civil society, government, and private industry, including in the more than 100 countries that have signed on to the Pledge by meaningfully investing in methane reduction solutions.”

The Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050
GAIA delegates and allies speaking at a press conference on the 50 by 2050 Initiative at COP27

The host nation Egypt launched the Global Waste Initiative during COP27, aiming to catalyse both adaptation and mitigation solutions by treating and recycling 50% of the waste produced in Africa by 2050. In a series of workshops held at the Green Zone, the Egypt government fleshed out some of the vision behind this initiative. 

The GAIA Delegation, including several representatives from GAIA Africa membership that has been following this policy process for several months, engaged in conversations with the representatives from the Egypt government and reiterated the recommendations that had already been submitted in previous occasions. 

In the first place, the 50 by 2050 initiative needs an accurate baseline for recycling rates in the African continent as recycling infrastructure and waste collection varies significantly. Moreover, the initiative must clearly define the technologies accepted under the “recycling” umbrella to avoid promoting false solutions such as waste-to-energy incineration and waste trade as acceptable remedies to the plastic crisis, ignoring the fact that these only perpetuate historical injustice and concentration of power and wealth. Waste management in Africa has the potential to generate employment opportunities for vulnerable populations and to recognize the contribution of waste pickers and waste cooperatives to waste recovery rates. Before focusing on a 50% target recycling rate, 50 by 2050 should define, in a consultative process with input from multiple countries and the civil society, the means by which that rate will be pursued.

Furthermore, there needs to be a mechanism at each national level where the critical stakeholders in the waste sector are informing the best national approaches and how best they can transpose this regional effort into local action. Waste pickers and other GAIA members in those countries who are championing zero waste initiatives are best placed to help Africa achieve the ambition of this initiative and they are the local experts we should be taking advice from and not multinational corporations from the Global North whose only objective here is to promote false solutions and keep Africa trapped and perpetuating this cycle of waste colonialism. 


GAIA’s impact at COP27

Member Joe Bongay (The Gambia) Speaking on a Panel at COP27

The COP27 GAIA Delegation engaged at COP27 to promote zero waste solutions as essential tools for climate mitigation and adaptation, particularly for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. GAIA also hosted and our delegation spoke at over a dozen official side events and at other events and Pavilions within the official COP27 venue, reaching hundreds of people spanning from national delegates, climate NGOs, media, and other influencers with our key messages.

We had a Zero Waste Hub to engage the general public at COP, with a “Gallery of Zero Waste Solutions to Climate Change” and a “Gallery of Climate Trash,” sparking conversations with other members of civil society on the connection between waste and climate.

GAIA Press Conference on 50 by 2050. From left: Niven Reddy (South Africa), Rizk Youssef Hanna (Egypt), Ubrie-Joe Maimoni (Nigeria), Bubacar Zaidi (The Gambia)

We held a press conference on the Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050, raising the voices of local waste pickers as well as African government officials and activists on the key ingredients for a successful zero waste initiative in the region. 

Luyanda Hlatshwayo, Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (South Africa)

We held polluters accountable for their role at the COP, including calling out Coca Cola’s sponsorship, and the failure of the COP’s waste management systems, calling on the UNFCCC to do better. See our video!

Speakers on GAIA’s Zero Waste Cities Side Event. From left: Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, (British Columbia, Canada), Dr. Atiq Zaman, Senior Lecturer, Curtin University (Australia), Froilan Grate, GAIA Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator, (The Philippines), Ana Le Rocha, Executive Director, Nipe Fagio, (Tanzania), Luyanda Hlatshwayo, Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (South Africa)Iryna Myronova, Executive Director, Zero Waste Lviv, (Ukraine) 

We organised two official side events on the importance of zero waste as a climate solution, in collaboration with key partners such as World Biogas Association, Pesticide Action Network, WRAP UK, Curtin University, Thanal Trust, Toxics Link, amongst others. The events were recorded and are accessible on the links below:

Just Transition to Zero Waste Cities: A Key Strategy to Deliver the Paris Agreement

Methane from the waste sector: opportunities and challenges to deliver the Global Methane Pledge

We also organised a panel on global frontline responses to plastic and petrochemical pollution at COP’s first ever Climate Justice Pavilion and another panel of grassroots perspective on waste management and climate justice with a focus on Africa in the CSO Hub, the outside-COP space organised by civil society.

Nazir Khan, MN Environmental Justice Table (USA)
Davo Simplice Vodouhe, OBEPAB, PAN (Benin)
Victor Argentino, Instituto Polis (Brazil)
Desmond Alugnoa, GAIA Africa (Ghana)

 

The GAIA Delegation at COP27
From left: Members Ana le Rocha (Tanzania) and Victor Argentino (Brazil) at GAIA’s Zero Waste Hub in the COP27 venue

We engaged with national delegates from key countries (for example, Brazil), hand-delivering our recent Zero Waste to Zero Emissions report to government leaders. 

Member Ana le Rocha presenting a GAIA report to Marina Silva, former Brazilian Minister of the Environment

We participated in the climate justice march held at the UN COP27 venue and strengthened our links and global coordination on waste and the climate justice movement.  

GAIA at the Climate March

We collaborated with Changing Markets Foundation, EIA and the Chile official government delegation to present and discuss the findings of the report Methane Matters at the official side event:

Methane matters: towards a global methane agreement

Within the UN blue zone, we participated in 16 side events and discussed a wide range of topics relevant to waste management and climate (in chronological order):

  • Zero waste strategies support climate change adaptation and emergency situations at Waste of War: Challenges for Ukraine, Impact on Environment and Climate, at the Ukraine Pavilion. 
  • Zero waste and waste colonialism at the side event Climate Justice vs. False Corporate Schemes, hosted at the Climate Justice Pavilion. 
  • Promotion of sustainable municipal solid waste management and the transition to a low-carbon economy, hosted by Vanke Foundation at the China Pavilion.
  • Just Transition: providing decent work and quality jobs are tools for climate policy implementation, organised by Blue Green Alliance and International Trade Union Confederation 
  • Cross Regional Synergy for Youth-Led Climate Solutions, at the Cryosphere Pavilion.
  • The role of civil society in climate adaptation/ disaster risk management, at the Locally Led Adaptation Pavilion.
  • Youth for Climate Justice: Reflection on COP27 and Beyond, at the Zimbabwe Pavilion. 
  • Big Picture Solutions for the Future of Preventing Food Waste, at the Food4Climate Pavilion
  • Waste Diversion and Segregation, a huge opportunity for methane mitigation, and a challenge for ambitious public policy and subnational implementation, organised by the Global Methane HUb at the Climate Action Pavilion. 
  • Best practices on single use plastic reduction at the UAE Pavilion. 
  • Exposing fashion brands’ hidden links to Russian oil in a time of war, at the Ukrainian Pavilion. 
  • Scaling up local voices and solutions from urban informal settlements: Governance and finance models that advance climate justice and urban resilience, at the Resilience Hub Pavillion. 

Reflections on COP27 from our Membership

Victor H. Argentino M. Vieira – Zero Waste Advisor and Researcher – Polis Institute, São Paulo, Brazil

The COP27 was my first COP and an amazing experience, thanks to GAIA and all our delegation! Unfortunately, the amazingness does not come from the results of the climate negotiations, political will or the hope that COP is the arena for effective social participation yet. Actually, it comes from the meetings with different people from all over the world doing amazing work that fuel our hope to go forward in the climate justice struggle. It shows us that no matter the insensibility of political leaders and ineffectiveness of current politics, when organised we are the real change we need which is happening despite these. The changes are happening, not in the speed we need, but by the people who need the most. The day the neediest people are properly represented at COP is arriving, and this day will be a turning point in the climate agenda. Together and connected we are stronger, our role is to keep pushing forward and fighting for the future we want and the future we need!

Nazir Khan, Campaigns Director with Minnesota Environmental Justice Table, Minneapolis, US. 

If we are pinning our hopes to address the climate emergency on the UNFCCC, we truly are in grave and profound danger. What I saw at COP27 was a feeding frenzy of false solutions and disaster capitalism (first day: Egypt Pavilion proudly discussing “Decarbonizing Oil and Gas Sector”); unceasing obstruction and time-wasting on the part of the global north, especially the United States; and a framework that simply is not working to address this emergency. Without significant structural change to the United Nations itself, I cannot see how these state-state negotiations can work. And even that may not be enough at this point. 

The glimmers of hope I felt arose because of the unrelenting and courageous protests and clarion calls of civil society and social movements, as well as the united stands of the global south, G77 in particular, again and again in negotiations. I could not help but think of the once-powerful Third World movement— which gave the United Nations the few teeth it has. And I could not help but remember Egypt’s own Gamal Abdul Nasser, one of the great leaders of the Third World movement. I believe it is this long history of struggle against colonization that laid the foundation for the one victory emerging from COP27—the Loss and Damage fund. We will see whether this fund is real or becomes yet another unfulfilled promise and failed commitment. But the united stands of G77 and the tireless work of social movements, I believe, are our best hope for addressing this crisis. And those of us within the United States must do everything in our power to support them.

Ana Le Rocha, Executive Director of Nipe Fagio, Tanzania, Steering Committee member of Break Free from Plastic. 

As I celebrated 30 years of activism at COP27 I experienced inspirational moments as well as frustration with the limited progress on climate action. I admire the strength and resilience of climate and human rights activists standing in power despite the limited freedom of speech and the disconnection between our demands and the outcomes of the negotiations being held by member states. The split was unapologetically felt in the way that the spaces were organized and protests were restricted. On the other hand, the rooms were also filled with representatives of the power structures responsible for the climate crisis that we are in, and watching companies and countries in the Global North insist on relying on the resources of the Global South to enable their wealth was painful. 30 years later, I keep myself accountable to the girl inside me, who became an activist at Rio 1992 with very ambitious dreams. The need for environmental activism never decreases, it only grows stronger. Connecting global advocacy with local action is  a powerful strategy to drive change.”

Iryna Mironova, Zero Waste Liviv and co-founder of Zero Waste Ukraine Alliance

Iryna: Not only was this my first COP, it was also the first time my country, Ukraine, had its own pavilion, which told the world the story of how its precious black soils are impacted by war. At various events I presented local cases from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which despite the war continues its way to zero waste and zero emissions. I got a unique chance to contribute to the discussions on the intersection of world food security caused by war, methane emissions and waste management, and local climate policies. COP is mainly about global policies that leave many communities around the world feeling unheard and out-powered to act even if their representatives and NGOs have the opportunity to observe the COP negotiations. Working together with the GAIA delegation, we showcased how zero waste is a powerful tool to act on climate change on all levels and cross-sectionally. Many cities have more ambitious climate, targets and plans than countries,  but the risks and damage costs are higher for them as well. I would like to see more cities’ leadership and voices at the next COP pressuring their countries’ representatives on more ambitious targets and commitments together with NGOs on behalf of citizens. 

Waste Pickers Demand the Treaty Include a Just Transition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 29 NOVEMBER, 2022

Punta del Este, Uruguay– The formation of a Group of Friends of Waste Pickers was announced today at the negotiations towards a global plastics treaty. This historic moment marks unprecedented recognition of the rights, skills, and importance of the informal waste sector; never before have countries formally committed to advocate on behalf of waste pickers in the context of international negotiations. The Group is a voluntary body made up of representatives of member states from around the world  to ensure waste pickers voices are heard in the Plastic Treaty negotiations. 

The announcement comes at the outset of the first international negotiations committee (INC-1) meeting to establish the text of the Global Plastics Treaty, which will be the first legally binding treaty to address plastic pollution, from extraction to disposal. The inclusion of waste pickers in the negotiations signals that countries are acknowledging the pivotal role that waste pickers play in creating solutions to the plastic crisis, and should therefore be recognized as key stakeholders in the treaty process. 

Between 12.6 & 56 million people work in the informal recycling sector, and in many places their efforts account for almost all of the materials recycled in their municipalities. Despite this, waste pickers often go unrecognized and/or compensated by their local governments, and work in undignified conditions.  In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, it is estimated that the informal sector provides 50-90% of the recyclable materials that are used by local industry or exported, yet only receives 5% of the profits.

The core demand of waste picker groups is to develop a just transition plan, which must include adequate compensation for services, opportunities for self employment, a key role in the plastic value chain, entrepreneurship, and a role in the creation and implementation of policies to end the plastic crisis at a local and international level. 

Soledad Mella, President of the  National Association of Waste Pickers Chile (ANARCH), Communications secretary RedLacre: 

“It is historic to see more than 19 countries aligning with the International Alliance of Waste Pickers with delegates who can politically influence decisions, guaranteeing the participation of waste pickers in the negotiation. Now, the biggest challenge is that the process is truly binding and that they take into account our demand, which is a just transition that guarantees the participation of waste pickers in the entire recycling chain and in every negotiation, and that the laws that will be implemented see waste pickers as a fundamental part of the recycling chain”.

Adja  Mame Seyni Paye Diop – Vice President of the Waste Pickers from Senegal: 

“What I expect from this treaty and this meeting is that people take our jobs into account. For me a just transition is having  alternative jobs to support our families when it comes time to close dump sites.”

Waste picker groups demand: 

  • A definition of Just Transition and a description of waste pickers in the
  • draft text for the negotiations.
  • A negotiating cluster dedicated to Just Transition.
  • The commissioning of a report highlighting the contribution of waste pickers in recycling and reducing plastic pollution, where waste pickers will provide input.
  • Financial support to attend international negotiations.

Press contacts:

Camila Aguilera, Communications GAIA Latin America

camila@no-burn.org | +56951111599

Claire Arkin, Global Communications Lead

claire@no-burn.org | +1 973 444 4869

Note to Editor: For more information on waste picker justice in the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations, please visit our webpage, https://www.no-burn.org/unea-plastics-treaty/.

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GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 1000 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in 92 countries. With our work we aim to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped.

By Camila Aguilera, communications GAIA LAC; Alejandra Parra, Plastics and Zero Waste GAIA LAC.

GAIA members and allies at INC1 in Uruguay

In March of this year, we celebrated the culmination of the fifth meeting of the United Nations with the decision to develop  the future Global Plastics Treaty, a global tool focused on regulating plastic production and ending plastic contamination, and that recognized the role of grassroots recyclers for the first time. 

Nevertheless, we celebrate with caution, because as long as there is no definitive end to the plastic pollution crisis and the negotiations are not settled, we will continue to move between hope and mobilization.

The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee (INC-1), the organization in charge of developing the future treaty, began on November 28 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Meanwhile, plastic production and pollution continue without respite, because while we celebrate the steps taken to close the tap of plastic pollution, the production industry, waste exports to the Global South and the threats of false solutions are also advancing, and are kicking their way through.

For example, between the resolution of UNEA 5.2 and the first meeting of the International Negotiation Committee (INC-1), Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice granted an injunction to the companies Oxxo and Propimex, both owned by Femsa Coca-Cola, exempting them from having to comply with the prohibition to continue selling their products in single-use plastic containers such as PET and styrofoam.

Likewise, areas in the Asia Pacific continue to suffer the severe consequences of pollution caused by plastic waste imports that are not adequately regulated and controlled. A legally binding Global Plastics Treaty would complement the Basel Convention’s measures by providing more tools to end the cross border trade in plastic waste, to promote local solutions that do not lead to false solutions such as incineration, and to eliminate plastics that cannot be safely reused or recycled.

It is critical that each INC meeting reaches agreements that reflect the spirit and ambitions set out in Resolution 5/14: “Ending Plastic Pollution: Towards a Legally Binding International Instrument”. Our members and hundreds of civil society organizations are now ready to join forces and demand that governments adhere to the high-ambition commission, taking robust measures to address every stage of the plastic cycle, from the extraction of raw material, through manufacturing, use, to final disposal and management.

Therefore, the success of the first meeting of the INC will depend on:

  • Delivering a negotiations roadmap that prioritizes reducing plastic polymer production and a just transition.  Time-allocation is decisive, and only a negotiation schedule that makes ample time for reduction and just transition will deliver a treaty that is effective on those fronts.
  • Deciding on a Specific Convention that blends binding global obligations including reduction targets with National Action Plans that build the infrastructure and systems needed to reduce plastic production, end plastic pollution, and deliver a just transition for affected informal and formal workers, including reuse, and infrastructure to safely mechanically recycle plastic waste in the countries where it is generated .
  • Adopting working definitions for concepts that shape treaty scope, such as “plastics”, “plastic pollution” and “lifecycle”, to ensure clarity in negotiations and sufficient scope to effectively tackle pollution across the lifecycle of plastics, until such definitions are formally adopted in future treaty text or annexes.
  • Establishing a framework to ban plastic polymers, additives, products and waste-management processes that harm human or environmental health.
  • Ensuring meaningful and direct participation for civil society, not mediated by the Major Groups system that is not fit for purpose for treaty negotiations and was not adopted for the Open-Ended Working Group meeting. Civil society needs include financial and interpretation support for participation in negotiations, as well as access to contact groups. Special attention must be given to waste-pickers, fenceline and frontline communities, Indigenous and Traditional communities, and women.

It is the beginning of a two and a half year journey to finally achieve a Global Plastics Treaty designed at the height of the world crisis of plastics pollution; one that is legally binding, with measures that cover the complete lifecycle of plastics, that prohibit the use of toxic additives and that provide a just transition for recyclers. The organizations of our movement are ready to make their voices heard.

Overview

Tratado global sobre plásticos: Recomendaciones para INC1

La contaminación plástica no conoce fronteras: está en la comida que comemos, el agua que bebemos, el aire que respiramos, en las zanjas más profundas de nuestros océanos y en lo más alto de las montañas. La producción plástica se duplica cada 15-20 años y, con ello, también se duplica la contaminación en cada etapa del ciclo de vida del plástico, desde la extracción de la materia prima hasta su eliminación, incluyendo las emisiones que se liberan al medio ambiente. Gracias a un mandato de la Asamblea de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (UNEA, por sus siglas en inglés), un comité de negociación internacional (INC, por sus siglas en inglés) se dispone a iniciar la realización de un tratado mundial sobre el plástico en su primera reunión (INC1) a realizarse en Punta del Este, Uruguay.

El éxito de la primera reunión INC dependerá de:

1. Entregar una hoja de ruta de las negociaciones donde se priorice la reducción de la producción de polímeros de plástico y una transición justa. Para ello, la distribución del tiempo es clave, y sólo un calendario de negociaciones que conceda el tiempo suficiente para reducir la producción y lograr una transición justa, conseguirá un tratado eficaz en esos frentes (véase el calendario propuesto más abajo).

2. Decidir sobre un Convenio Específico que integre las obligaciones jurídicamente vinculantes a nivel mundial, que incluya los objetivos de reducción en los Planes de Acción Nacionales, donde se construya la infraestructura y los sistemas necesarios para reducir la producción de plástico, acabar con la contaminación por plástico y ofrecer una transición justa para los trabajadores informales y formales que puedan verse afectados, incluyendo la reutilización y las infraestructuras para reciclar de forma mecánica y segura los residuos plásticos en los países donde se generan.

3. Establecer definiciones funcionales para los conceptos que conforman el alcance del tratado, como “plásticos”, “contaminación por plásticos” y “ciclo de vida”, para garantizar la claridad en las negociaciones y un alcance suficiente que permita abordar eficazmente la contaminación en todo el ciclo de vida de los plásticos, hasta que dichas definiciones se adopten formalmente en el futuro texto del tratado o en sus anexos.

4. Determinar un marco para prohibir los polímeros de plástico, los aditivos, los productos y los procesos de gestión de residuos que perjudican la salud humana y/o del medio ambiente, incluyendo aquellos que agravan la contaminación tóxica o que difunden los tóxicos en la economía, amenazan la seguridad hídrica, o profundizan la injusticia medioambiental (por ejemplo, la incineración, la pirólisis y la gasificación de residuos, la exportación de residuos de plástico).

5. Garantizar una participación significativa y directa de la sociedad civil, que no esté mediada por el sistema de los llamados Grupos principales, lo cual no es adecuado para las negociaciones de los tratados y no fue adoptado para la reunión del Grupo de trabajo abierto. Las necesidades de la sociedad civil incluyen el apoyo financiero y de interpretación para la participación en las negociaciones, así como el acceso a los grupos de contacto. Se debe prestar especial atención a los recicladores de base, a las comunidades de primera línea, a las comunidades indígenas y tradicionales y a las mujeres.

 

Se propone la siguiente estructura para una hoja de ruta eficiente:

Si bien la negociación debe centrarse en las medidas del tratado que reduzcan la producción de polímeros de plástico, debe considerar que se requieren definiciones claras y suficientemente amplias para favorecer la eficacia de las negociaciones y evitar vacíos legales. En particular, el alcance del tratado debe abarcar los aditivos plásticos intencionales y no intencionales, los materiales compuestos que contengan plástico o polímeros semisintéticos (por ejemplo, caucho natural vulcanizado, celofán, viscosa) y los polímeros híbridos inorgánicos-orgánicos (siliconas), en todos sus estados de materia y solubilidad en agua.

Entre otros elementos necesarios para un Tratado mundial sobre plásticos eficaz que se negocie en futuros INC, figuran un modelo para la presentación de informes sólidos y armonizados, la supervisión y la transparencia, un organismo científico exclusivo sin conflictos de interés, un fondo para el cumplimiento y la reparación de la contaminación por plásticos histórica de los países en vías de desarrollo, y un mecanismo de fiscalización.

Más información en:
Overview

Plastic pollution knows no borders—it is in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our oceans’ deepest trenches and the highest mountain peaks. Plastic production is doubling every 15-20 years and with it, pollution across every stage of the plastics lifecycle, from feedstock sourcing to final disposal and emissions to the environment. With a mandate from the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) is now poised to negotiate a global plastics treaty at its first meeting (INC1) in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

A successful INC1 will:
  1. Deliver a negotiations roadmap that prioritizes reducing plastic polymer production and a just transition. Time-allocation is decisive, and only a negotiations schedule that makes ample time for reduction and just transition will deliver a treaty that is effective on those fronts (see proposed calendar below).
  2. Decide on a Specific Convention that blends binding global obligations including reduction targets with National Action Plans that build the infrastructure and systems needed to reduce plastic production, end plastic pollution, and deliver a just transition for affected informal and formal workers, including reuse, and infrastructure to safely mechanically recycle plastic waste in the countries where it is generated.
  3. Adopt working definitions for concepts that shape treaty scope, such as “plastics”, “plastic pollution” and “lifecycle”, to ensure clarity in negotiations and sufficient scope to effectively tackle pollution across the lifecycle of plastics, until such definitions are formally adopted in future treaty text or annexes.
  4. Establish a framework to ban plastic polymers, additives, products and waste-management processes that harm human or environmental health including those that worsen toxic pollution or circulate toxics in the economy, threaten water security, or deepen environmental injustice (e.g., Waste-to-Energy incineration, pyrolysis and gasification, plastic waste exports).
  5.  Ensure meaningful and direct participation for civil society, not mediated by the Major Groups system that is not fit for purpose for treaty negotiations and was not adopted for the Open-Ended Working Group meeting. Civil society needs include financial and interpretation support for participation in negotiations, as well as access to contact groups. Special attention must be given to waste-pickers, fenceline and frontline communities, Indigenous and Traditional communities, and women.

 

An effective negotiations roadmap could have the following structure:

While negotiation time must focus on treaty measures that will reduce plastic polymer production, clear and sufficiently-broad definitions are needed to support effective negotiations and avoid loopholes. In particular, the treaty scope must cover both intentional and unintentional plastic additives, composite materials that contain plastics, plastics made from semi-synthetic polymers (e.g., vulcanized natural rubber, cellophane, viscose) and hybrid inorganic-organic polymers (e.g. silicones), in all their states of matter and water solubility. Other elements needed for an effective global plastics treaty to be negotiated at future INCs include a framework for robust and harmonized reporting, monitoring and transparency, a dedicated scientific body free from conflicts of interest, a fund for developing country compliance and remediation of legacy plastic pollution, and an enforcement mechanism.

For more information, see:
Waste is Third Largest Source of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions Globally

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11 November 2022, 12 pm EET

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt –The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) held a press conference along with Friends of the Earth Nigeria at COP27 to provide civil society’s perspective on Egypt’s impending announcement of its Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050. The initiative sets the ambition to recycle and  treat at least 50% of waste produced in Africa by 2050. 

In this press conference, civil society and diverse experts including climate justice groups, waste picker organizers and government leaders from across the African continent emphasized the potential of waste reduction and management for climate adaptation and mitigation.

“The 50 by 2050 initiative provides us with an opportunity to scale zero waste systems for climate action in Africa and around the globe. However this initiative can only be effective if it includes organic waste management, inclusion and recognition of waste pickers, and phase out of residual waste and fundamentally moving away from incineration and other climate-polluting waste management practices that aren’t meant for Africa,” said Niven Reddy, Regional Coordinator for GAIA Africa.

Waste will be critical on the COP27 agenda as countries discuss ways to reach the Global Methane Pledge, which recognises that reducing methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas over 80 times as potent as CO2, is critical to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C.  Waste is the third largest anthropogenic source of methane, primarily from landfilling organic waste. 122 countries have committed to tackling this greenhouse gas globally.

The Global Methane Pledge and the Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050 both signal how countries are recognizing the potential of ‘zero waste’ to help meet climate targets affordably and effectively. Introducing better waste management policies such as waste separation, recycling, and composting could cut total emissions from the waste sector by more than 1.4 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of 300 million cars – or taking all motor vehicles in the U.S. off the road for a year.   

The climate crisis has exacerbated impacts in Africa, making the need for adaptation measures more acute. Loss and damage financing and climate investments for zero waste systems in Africa can both boost climate resilience, redress historical inequities, and support local economies.

African communities are spearheading zero waste projects for adaptation, recognising the current realities they are faced with. One such strategy, composting, reduces pollution, prevents disease vectors like mosquitos and vermin, and boosts soil resilience, which helps combat flooding and droughts that threaten food security. 

Bubacar Jallow, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources in The Gambia, explained: “What some may call waste is actually an incredible resource for the climate and public health. Composting food waste creates an effective fertilizer that can support greater food security in The Gambia in the face of a changing climate.”

If this initiative prioritizes the rights of waste pickers, it could also have a tremendous impact on the thousands of people working in the informal sector in the region. Waste pickers in Africa play a key role towards mitigating climate change by collecting and selling waste as a livelihood strategy, which increases recycling and reduces raw material extraction. 

Wastepicker Rizk Yosif Hanna stated: “In Egypt, the Zabaleen community recycles more than 50% of the waste they collect, and therefore must be taken into consideration. Any step in Egypt and in Africa as a whole should be built on the accumulated knowledge that exists in the informal sector, and integrate waste pickers into the decision-making and implementation.”

However, all efforts to manage waste will be fruitless unless there is a strong focus on source reduction, particularly for plastic, which is made from fossil fuels. If plastic’s life cycle were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. 

Ubrei-Joe Ubrei-Joe Maimoni Mariere, Regional Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Africa said: “Recycling alone is not enough to address the global waste crisis. For recycling to be effective, African countries need to  start attacking sources of raw material extraction, stopping single-use plastic and reducing waste at the source.”

Notes: 

For a full list of events and spokespeople available for interview, please see our press kit: https://tinyurl.com/GAIACOP27presskit

We have recently launched a new report titled ‘Zero Waste to Zero Emissions’.  The report provides the clearest and most comprehensive evidence to date of how zero waste is critical to the climate fight, while building resilience, creating jobs, and promoting thriving local economies. You can read more about it here: https://www.no-burn.org/zerowaste-zero-emissions/ 

Press contacts:

Claire Arkin, Global Communications Lead 

claire@no-burn.org | +1 973 444 4869

Africa: 

Carissa Marnce, Africa Communications Coordinator

carissa@no-burn.org | +27 76 934 6156

###

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GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. With our work we aim to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped. 

Weyinmi Okotie in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

By Careen Joel Mwakitalu

It is often a devastating loss when an active voice of change is silenced. To the communities, it means a weakened drive to change. To their respective families, it means a total reshaping of the dependants’ lives. However, to a generation, it marks a remembrance of the possibility that change is achievable and your single voice matters!

This 10th November 2022, we remember a critical voice silenced 27 years ago at Port-Harcourt. Today, on the celebration of his life, renowned Nigerian environment and political activist Ken Saro Wiwa’s story is still a torch of light for environmental justice. As a martyr of his people, ‘the Ogoni’ of the Niger Delta, Ken Saro Wiwa fought against the oppressive regime of General Sani Obacha to protect his land that was exposed to petroleum waste dumping because it is an area picked out for crude oil extraction since the 1950s.

One of the critical highlights of Ken Saro Wiwa’s work was the non-violence strategy and what it achieved. He employed a non-violent campaign against environmental degradation of the land and waters of Ogoniland, putting to play the media as an integral partner for change. The above may speak volumes to climate and environmental activists today with the diverse world of technology tools at their disposal and the unlimited capacity to communicate empowered by innovation. If he did, we could!

The current times, however, can draw more than one lesson from Ken Saro Wiwa as an activist. With modern-day activism growing more complex due to the intersectionality of issues, it is only fitting to highlight the unwavering commitment to ‘Saro Wiwa’s’ strategy of using his voice to advise the government and influence policy change. 

Foregrounding a very timely example is the extensive negative impact on the environment and livelihoods of people the Royal Dutch Company ‘SHELL’ has succeeded in destroying. Since its operation started in 1937, Shell has existed at the expense of communities and lands in the Niger delta through onshore, shallow and deep water oil exploration and production.

Relevant to modern-day activism, present activists can not only rally campaigns on virtual and physical platforms but also climb the political ladder and influence change through systems in place. The reason for the prior narrative being social, economic and political systems are very much interlinked, and decision-making for the benefit of the ordinary person can be jeopardized.

Resilience and sacrifice echo the loudest in the inspiring story of Ken Saro Wiwa. Today does not only translate to a remembrance of the fallen general Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni nine but also many other vital voices of change from Africa that were silenced in lieu of justice and social development of the African people. This piece is a note of celebration carting other voices of fallen African environmentalists like Fikile Ntshangase of South Africa with the list going on.

Waste a Key Focus at COP27 as UNEP Unveils Adaptation Report and Pipeline Accelerator Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03 November 2022, 10 am GMT 

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt –The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) will be holding a press conference along with Friends of the Earth Nigeria at COP27 to provide civil society’s perspective on Egypt’s impending announcement of its Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050. The initiative sets the ambition to treat at least 50% of waste produced in Africa by 2050 and will address mitigation, adaptation, and implementation. 

In this press conference, civil society and diverse experts including youth climate activists, climate justice groups, and government leaders from across the African continent will reflect on how waste reduction and management is a key driver of adaptation and mitigation and should be included in international climate financing

What: Waste Critical to Reaching 1.5 Degree Target: Civil Society Responds to Africa Waste 50 Initiative 

Where: COP27 Blue Zone, Luxor

When: November 11, 12:00—12:30pm EET

Speakers: 

  • Bubacar Jallow (The Gambia) Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources
  • Rizk Yosif Hanna (Egypt), Zabaleen Waste Picker Group
  • Abdallah Emad (Egypt) Convener for the Local Conference of Youth, Egypt
  • Ubrei-Joe Maimoni (Nigeria) Regional Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa
  • Niven Reddy (South Africa)  Regional Coordinator, GAIA Africa

The Waste Sector Will Be a Key Topic at COP27 for Mitigation, Adaptation, and Climate Finance

Waste will be critical on the COP27 agenda as countries discuss ways to reach the Global Methane Pledge, which recognises that reducing methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas over 80 times as potent as CO2, is critical to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C.  Waste is the third largest source of methane, primarily from landfilling organic waste. 122 countries have committed to tackling this greenhouse gas globally.

The Global Methane Pledge and the Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050 both signal how countries are recognizing the potential of ‘zero waste’ to help meet climate targets affordably and effectively. Introducing better waste management policies such as waste separation, recycling, and composting could cut total emissions from the waste sector by more than 1.4 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of 300 million cars – or taking all motor vehicles in the U.S. off the road for a year.   

African communities are spearheading zero waste projects for adaptation, recognising the current realities they are faced with. One such strategy, composting, reduces pollution, prevents disease vectors like mosquitos and vermin, and boosts soil resilience, which helps combat flooding and droughts that threaten food security. 

Zero waste strategies are already showing massive potential in Africa. For example the organisation Nipe Fagio, in Tanzania, is implementing a decentralised framework for separate collection, recycling, and composting, engaging 32,000 people in Dar es Salaam and achieving 95% compliance, reducing 75% of waste in the area in just two years. Studies show that scaling these projects in the capital of Dar es Salaam would lead to a 65% reduction in sector GHG emissions, while creating 18,000 new jobs

The climate crisis has exacerbated impacts in Africa, making the need for adaptation measures more acute. Loss and damage financing and climate investments for zero waste systems in Africa can both boost climate resilience, redress historical inequities, and support local economies.

GAIA will have an international delegation of members, particularly from the Global South including several African countries, available for interview.

For a full list of events and spokespeople available for interview, please see our press kit

Notes: 

We have recently launched a new report titled ‘Zero Waste to Zero Emissions’.  The report provides the clearest and most comprehensive evidence to date of how zero waste is critical to the climate fight, while building resilience, creating jobs, and promoting thriving local economies. You can read more about it here: https://www.no-burn.org/zerowaste-zero-emissions/ 

Press contacts:

Claire Arkin, Global Communications Lead 

claire@no-burn.org | +1 973 444 4869

Africa: 

Carissa Marnce, Africa Communications Coordinator

carissa@no-burn.org | +27 76 934 6156

###

GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. With our work we aim to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped.