[ARABIC] GAIA and BFFP Members in Africa Calls for African Leaders to Negotiate on a Strong Global Plastics Treaty ahead of the Second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC2)in Paris (29 May -2 June 2023)

The global plastics treaty presents Africa with a historic opportunity to address the unique challenges the continent faces from the adverse impacts of the full lifecycle of plastics. At its first session, the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC1), requested the secretariat to prepare, for consideration by the committee at its second session, a document with potential options for elements towards an international legally binding instrument, based on the submissions of member states, to which 14 African countries submitted individual inputs in addition to the African Group submission on what will form the foundational objectives; core obligations, control measures and implementing elements for the global plastics treaty.

O tratado global de plásticos representa, para África, uma oportunidade histórica para enfrentar os desafios únicos que o continente enfrenta devido aos impactos adversos do ciclo de vida completo dos plásticos. Na sua primeira sessão, o Comité Intergovernamental de Negociação (INC1) solicitou à secretaria que preparasse, para consideração do Comité na sua segunda sessão, um documento com possíveis opções de elementos para um instrumento internacional juridicamente vinculativo, com base nas contribuições dos Estados-Membros, para o qual 14 países Africanos enviaram contribuições individuais, além da apresentação do Grupo Africano sobre o que formará os objectivos fundamentais; obrigações essenciais, medidas de controle e elementos de implementação para o tratado global de plásticos.

A publication highlighting the work and realities of waste pickers in India.

In 2021 we made great strides as a movement and continued to spread awareness on our calls for a just, healthy and zero waste society.

To celebrate our victories, we put together this short region review of the year 2021. We recognise that there were many more highlights to celebrate in the movement, but these are a select few that we have been closely engaging on.

Waste pickers from South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco and Zambia have demonstrated the common need for official recognition from national and municipal governments, better working conditions, PPE, improved payment for their recovered materials and collection and processing service, and an end to social stigmatisation.

The experience of organising shows that these needs are achievable through building representative organisations that will ensure that their voices are heard in negotiations with governments and demonstrate their value to society.

This requires waste pickers to work collaboratively and embed the principles of democracy, equality and environmental justice in their organised structures. Furthermore, municipalities and national governments need to recognise the value that waste pickers play in diverting waste from the landfills, encouraging recycling where materials re-enter the economy and addressing poverty by providing an income for individuals that have been excluded from the formal economy.

For decades, U.S. cities have collected mixed plastic in recycling programs in an unsuccessful attempt to solve the plastic waste crisis. Analyzing the municipal solid waste (MSW) streams of five U.S. cities, this new report sheds light on the different ways legitimate recycling efforts are undermined, and how the simplest and most ethical solution to our plastic problem is to remove all non-recyclable plastic from the system.

Zero waste is a crucial component of a regenerative economy with the potential to safeguard public health, create good jobs, support local economies, and mitigate climate change.

Between January and August 2020, the United States shipped 44,173 tons of plastic waste, the same tonnage as almost 300 blue whales, to 15 Latin American countries, approximately 35 containers per day. An investigative report by GAIA LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) members reveals the untold story of how the United States is exporting its plastic problems to Latin America–disregarding international and national laws–and the harm that it’s causing to the Latin American people and environment. The Executive Summary of the report, including its key findings, has been translated into English.

If our cities and communities are to fully recover and rebuild from the ashes of the broken system we find ourselves in, we must pivot away from extractive indutry and create zero waste systems that hold strong when disaster strikes. Our members around the country are demonstrating that zero waste is an essential part of a Just Recovery.