In 2020, GAIA released an alert identifying an alarming trend: legislators were introducing bills to promote the expansion of so-called “chemical recycling” (also known as “advanced recycling”, “waste-to-fuel”, “waste-to-plastic,” “plastic transformation,” and “plastics renewal”), eight of which had been signed into law. This unproven waste management strategy is endorsed by the plastic industry via its lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council. This alert is an update on that trend, which the petrochemical industry has accelerated. Since our first alert, eleven more states have passed such laws, bringing the total to 20 since 2017. These laws relax pollution regulations and/or provide subsidies for these facilities, with some explicitly defining them as recycling facilities, despite numerous reports from media, watchdog, and nonprofit groups concluding that they are little more than plastic burning. In addition to these threats, this alert contains suggested intervention points for advocates and highlights legislative approaches that counter the expansion of these technologies.
Once faced with waste management challenges exacerbated by tourism, two communes in Hoi An, Vietnam — Cam Thanh and Cham Islands (Tan Hiep Commune) — have become the faces of Zero Waste through the collaboration of stakeholders from the government, community organizations, farmers’ associations, businesses, and tourism associations.
Fuelling Failure is the first report to highlight the dangers fossil fuels and plastic production pose to every single UN Sustainable Development Goal. The 17 SDGs, whose 169 targets aim to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030,” touch on a diverse range of issues and challenges such as biodiversity, work, health, inequality and food. The goals apply to all countries, rich and poor, with the aim of ensuring that “no one will be left behind.” In contrast, plastic reduction and zero waste strategies would help us meet the world’s SDG’s, fast.
The paper was produced by researchers at the University of Sussex on behalf of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and key civil society partners with expertise across the SDGs: 350.org, ActionAid, REN21, Stand.earth, CAN South Asia, UNRISD, Food and Water, Rapid Transition Alliance, Leave It In the Ground Initiative, GAIA, CAN International, Center for Biological Diversity, Stamp Out Poverty, MOCICC, Power Shift Africa, WECAN and Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.
Trois ans après l’adoption par la Convention de Bâle des amendements relatifs aux déchets plastiques entrés en vigueur en janvier 2021, le commerce international de déchets plastiques a évolué, mais reste une cause d’injustice environnementale. En effet, les communautés et les écosystèmes des pays importateurs subissent une part disproportionnée de la charge toxique causée lorsque des déchets plastiques importés sont déversés dans des décharges sauvages, brûlés ou recyclés dans des conditions qui nuisent à l’environnement.
Tres años después de que la COP14 del Convenio de Basilea adoptara las enmiendas sobre el comercio de residuos plásticos que entraron en vigor en enero de 2021, la situación del comercio mundial de residuos plásticos ha cambiado. Sin embargo, esto continúa siendo una fuente de injusticia ambiental, ya que las comunidades y los ecosistemas de los países importadores asumen una parte desproporcionada de la carga tóxica derivada del vertido, la quema y el reciclado no ecológico de los residuos plásticos.
Three years after the Basel Convention COP14 adopted the plastic waste trade amendments that came into force in January 2021, the global plastic waste trade has shifted but remains a cause of environmental injustice, with communities and ecosystems in importing countries bearing a disproportionate portion of the toxic burden associated with the dumping, burning and environmentally-unsound recycling of plastic waste.
As companies increasingly come under pressure to reduce plastic, some are using “plastic neutrality” and similar
credit schemes to claim that they are not contributing to plastic pollution. The global plastics treaty provides an important opportunity to officially discourage or ban the use of plastic credits before they become widespread. Doing so would avoid the incredible amount of regulatory oversight needs —both in the private and public sectors— to organize and manage international plastic credit markets. The collective efforts could be better spent on reducing plastic production rapidly.
Island communities face more challenges when confronted with the problems posed by single-use plastics. As a response to these challenges, GAIA Island communities face more challenges when confronted with the problems posed by single-use plastics. As a response to these challenges, GAIA Asia Pacific is launching this latest publication, Community Voices: Impacts of Single-Use Plastic Regulations on Philippine Coastal Communities. This highlights different experiences of waste management implementors from Siquijor, San Carlos, and Dumaguete City in implementing their single-use plastic regulations.
The global Plastics Treaty must focus on plastic reduction and reuse, instead of substituting a plastic single-use item for
a bio-based, biodegradable, or compostable one.