On the Road to Zero Waste. Successes and Lessons from Around the World
- Zero waste -
Zero waste is both a goal and a plan of action. The goal is to ensure resource recovery and protect scarce natural resources by ending waste disposal in incinerators, dumps, and landfills. The plan encompasses waste reduction, composting, recycling and reuse, changes in consumption habits, and industrial redesign. But just as importantly, zero waste is a revolution in the relationship between waste and people. It is a new way of thinking that aims to safeguard the health and improve the lives of everyone who produces, handles, works with, or is affected by waste—in other words, all of us.
GAIA Asia Pacific, in partnership with Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) Philippines, has been conducting a capacity-building workshop to capacitate members of the network and government officials to implement a community Zero Waste program since 2017.
Called Zero Waste Academy (ZWA), the workshop is an immersive 10-day course aimed at capacitating members and other stakeholders on how to implement a Zero Waste program in their respective cities and communities. Putting emphasis on experiential learning, the course provides a well-thought out mix of lectures, hands-on exercises, site visits and community engagements, demo-sessions, and networking opportunities.
Thus far, five in-person ZWAs have been conducted from 2017 to 2019.
In 2020-2022, GAIA Asia Pacific and MEF conducted other iterations of the academy, albeit virtually because of the lockdowns imposed by governments. Yaksa Pelestari Bumi Berkelanjutan (YPBB) Bandung likewise held other Zero Waste Academies on their own to support AZWI members in implementing Zero Waste in their communities.
As in any workshop, an essential measure of success of the workshop is how the graduates apply in their own contexts the lessons and skills they gained from their participation. GAIA Asia Pacific is immensely proud that five years since the first in-person ZWA, and three years since the last one, many of our graduates continued to champion Zero Waste in their own communities and countries, and many of them even spearheaded innovative and impactful Zero Waste initiatives and/or led campaigns such as plastic-free and anti-waste-to-energy (WtE) campaigns.
This publication is an initial attempt to document our graduates' work to understand the academy's impact on their work and their communities. This volume is not exhaustive — our intention is to periodically check on our graduates to celebrate their success in their own communities.
May you be inspired by our initial offering. Our graduates, without a doubt, are making the world a better place. But do not take our word for it; read the pages of our publication and see for yourself!
Ours is a vibrant, multidisciplinary, and multicultural team modelling a future where power sharing and collective knowledge creates flourishing zero waste cities around the world. Our regional offices coordinate closely with regional members and national or regional boards/advisory committees, and are advised by the GAIA Global Advisory Hub and global membership. Formally, we operate as three registered nonprofit organizations (GAIA Philippines, GAIA USA, and Zero Waste Europe).
Originally from India, Aditi grew up in China and is now based in New York City. Her academic background centers on environmental justice, and she is pursuing a Master of Urban Planning at New York University. Aditi was a community organizer prior to joining GAIA and is fiercely dedicated to building a world that values people and the planet before profit.
Communications Associate for GAIA Global
Agnes is GAIA’s Global Digital Communications Associate based in the Philippines. Prior to moving back to Manila, she was a Publishing Manager for over thirteen business and lifestyle publications in Malaysia. Since then, Agnes has fallen in love with pursuing worthy advocacies through her work on communications and digital media for international organizations including the British Council. When not glued to social media for #trendingtopics, she can be found consuming media about (and by) empowered women.
Zero Waste and Plastics Advisor for GAIA Latin America & the Caribbean
Alejandra is a Biologist specialized in Natural Resource Management and holds a Masters’ Degree in Planning. She is a co-founding member of the Chilean organization RADA (Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales). Alejandra is an environmental activist with more than 20 years of experience. She has also implemented citizen environmental education programs, zero waste strategies at the local level, and developed advocacy actions aiming to impact public policies a the regional, national, and international levels.
Zero Waste Cities Program Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Ambily is a sustainability practitioner with deep interest in solving local environmental issues. She actively works towards improving her city’s waste management practices through behavioural change and community engagement model. She is experienced in program strategy & delivery, research and program led advocacy across development and waste management sector.
Digital Communications Associate for GAIA Asia Pacific
Belmiro graduated from Udayana University in Bali with a degree in Archaeology. Belmiro put his interest in environmental issues in 2019 when there was a subject named environmental archeology. In the middle of his study, he worked as a host for one of the popular TV programs in Indonesia called Insert, which produced infotainment about the celebrity world. Before joining GAIA, Belmiro worked at Nexus3 Foundation as a Communication Officer. He wants to use digital platforms to increase public awareness about environmental issues.
Finance & Business Director for GAIA U.S.
Brieshen is the Finance & Business Director for GAIA’s U.S. office. She has a background in business admin and finance, working with nonprofits to build solid infrastructures to fortify their missions. Her interest in this field began when she managed a free-standing birth center in Portland, Maine and since then she has worked with many Bay Area social and environmental justice organizations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Business Administration. Brieshen loves gardening, hiking with her family and days spent at the beach.
Program Advisor for GAIA Latin America
Camila’s interest in nature led her to hold a Diploma in Socio-Environmental Studies, which she hopes will become her subject of specialization. Previous to joining GAIA, she volunteered for different environmental initiatives, being the most significant a project she developed with local recyclers in the city of Concepción, Chile. Camila is also the co-founder of the local NGO Fundación El Árbol. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her bike, hiking, and reading.
GAIA Africa Communications Associate
Careen is a Tanzanian Journalist and development storyteller working to spearhead climate action and social development through innovative communication and advocacy. Her background includes working with local media houses, non-governmental organisations and international organisations. Careen joined the GAIA team in October 2022 and is based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.
Communications Officer for GAIA Africa
Carissa holds a National Diploma in Journalism from the Durban University of Technology and is currently studying towards a postgraduate degree in Journalism. She has experience in writing for local news media and enjoys using various types of online media tools. Carissa is also environmentally conscious and believes in the ethical treatment of animals. Her hobbies include reading, creative writing, and watching series.
Global Projects Advisor for GAIA
Cecilia Allen is the Global Projects Advisor for GAIA, focusing on strengthening the work on zero waste cities through global initiatives. She previously served as GAIA’s Regional Coordinator for Latin America and The Caribbean for nine years and has been part of the environmental justice movement for 20 years. She has also worked in the public sector implementing waste management programs, and has worked as a consultant in waste research. She is a Sociologist, based in Argentina.
Resource Mobilization Office for GAIA Asia Pacific
Celine started working in international non-government organizations in 2016, providing resource mobilization assistance to capacitate youth through Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, she continued her resource and grants management work in a child rights institution. Furthermore, she handled strategic portfolio and awards management and project implementation with various international and local organizations in Asia and the Pacific.
Development and Resource Mobilization Manager for GAIA U.S.
Chris joined the environmental justice movement over twenty years ago when he worked with Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL) to combat one of the most egregious examples of environmental racism in the country. Since then, he has worked at a variety of nonprofits on issues ranging from education to the environment.
International Coordinator and Executive Director of GAIA U.S.
Christie joined GAIA in 2005 and has 25 years of experience with social movements and international non-profit organizations. She began her work in Guatemala as a popular educator, program coordinator, and strategic planning facilitator for groups in the women’s movement and Mayan-Campesino organizing community, as well as in international human rights. For the last 15 years, Christie has worked from the U.S. on international waste, public health, and environmental justice issues.
Global Communications Lead
Claire has previously worked as an organizer in the spheres of education, politics, and sustainable food, and also worked as a publicist for classical musicians. Her work has been featured in such outlets as The Guardian, Resource-Recycling, NextCity, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is based out of New York City.
Communications Associate for GAIA Asia Pacific
Dan carries almost 30 years of experience in communications work, from media publishing to marketing to web content writing, and as the Campaigns Coordinator of other non-government organisations. His traditional and modern approach to comms work is a solid support to GAIA AP campaigns.
Member Support Program Coordinator for GAIA Africa
Desmond has a background in Environmental Science and Climate Governance. Desmond has worked with Ghana’s national government, as well as the corporate sector both in Africa and in Europe, in diverse capacities involving waste management and sustainability. He is a climate activist, a strategic campaigner and has worked with the UN Major Groups for Children, YOUNGO and the Youth in Landscape. Desmond joined the GAIA team in April 2021 and is based in Accra, Ghana.
Doun has a background in law and has worked with national and regional civil society advocacy platforms including Korea Civil Society Forum on International Development, Asia Development Alliance, and Korea Zero Waste Movement Network. She joined GAIA’s U.S. office in 2017 and is currently based in Seoul, South Korea as part of GAIA’s Global Policy and Research Team.
Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator and Executive Director of GAIA Philippines
Froilan is a committed environmental justice campaigner who has assisted more than 20 cities/municipalities in the Philippines in developing and improving waste management programs and systems. He has extensive experience in module development and training and legislative work, providing support to legislators at the local government level, especially in areas of policy review.
Network Development Coordinator
Gemma is the Network Development Coordinator for GAIA and is part of the Global Support Team. Originally from Barcelona, she has a background in journalism and film editing and has been involved with social justice and grassroots organizations in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. In 2005 she moved to Mexico, where she lived for seven years and worked as a Program Manager at Promedios de Comunicación Comunitaria. Prior to joining GAIA, Gemma also worked at Centro Legal de la Raza, in Oakland, as the Donor Relations and Communications Coordinator.
ella/she/her – they/them
Regional Capacity-Building and Training Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Janssen is an environmental management and urban planning specialist with experience as a consultant, researcher, and educator to several private companies, NGOs, universities, and government institutions. He has organized various environmental and urban management engagements in the Philippines, Ghana, the Netherlands, and Cambodia.
Asia Pacific’s Regional Communications Officer for the #breakfreefromplastic movement
Prior to joining GAIA, Jed worked with several non-government organizations as a media and communications officer and project manager. He holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies part of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, Netherlands.
Program Operations & Grants Administrator
Jenny has experience as a climate action educator and researcher and has organized with her friends to demand fossil fuel divestment, environmental justice, and just and lasting peace. She is on the secretariat of the New Jersey chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.
Plastics & Petrochemicals Campaign Manager, US & Canada
Jessica has been fighting for more than twelve years against climate change and for a sustainable, just energy system working to stop fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure buildout and supporting front line struggles. Prior to her work in the climate movement, Jessica practiced law for a decade focusing on civil rights and Federal Indian law. She is based in so-called Brooklyn (occupied Lanape/Munsee/Canarsie lands) where she was born and raised.
North Africa Outreach Coordinator
Kenza has a background in political science and sustainable economic development. She has worked in different fields such as election observation, international cooperation, capacity building for cooperatives and CSR. Kenza joined the GAIA team in April 2021 and is based in Marrakech, Morocco.
Project Monitoring and Grants Administration Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Leo has more than three years of work experience in quantitative and qualitative research, project management, and stakeholder coordination. They have published journal articles, book chapters, and policy notes on a wide range of topics including political dynasties, Philippine politics, inclusive growth, environmental cooperation, and fertility. They completed their undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines Diliman and are currently completing their master’s degree in Demography at the same university. They are part of several youth-led environmental organizations in the Philippines.
Regional Coordinator for GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean
Magda has worked in communications and networking with several Chilean NGOs and in Television Trust for the Environment (UK), supporting educational and activism programs in forestry and biodiversity for 15 years. For the last fourteen years she has worked on waste issues with cities in Latin America, particularly defending the rights of recyclers and promoting zero waste. She is based in Concepción, Chile.
Zero Waste Program Manager for GAIA US & Canada
As a biracial and LGBTQ+ working professional, Marcel has dedicated his life to dismantling white supremacy and anti-queer concepts within the broader environmental movement. Over the past eight years, he has become a thought leader and technical expert on climate change, environmental justice, and zero waste concepts throughout the US and Canada. Born and raised in a minority-majority community along the Chesapeake Bay in Southeast Virginia, Newport News, Marcel has always been deeply entrenched within the world of equity and justice.He joins GAIA with a Master’s in Environmental Policy from The New School and currently resides in the beautiful neighborhood of Harlem in New York City. Marcel will help expand GAIA’s work in U.S. federal policy spaces with the goals of developing zero waste solutions and ending policies bolstering incineration.
Plastic Campaigner for GAIA Latin America & the Caribbean / BFFP
María Esther Briz
María Esther is a Biologist, MSc. in Environmental Management Systems, a specialist in urban solid waste management, and a researcher focused on marine pollution by plastics. She has worked as an independent advisor on issues related to sustainability, and in NGOs as coordinator of socio-environmental development projects for more than 15 years.
Member Support Program Coordinator for GAIA Latin America & the Caribbean / BFFP
After seven years of study and work on biodigesters in three different continents, Mariela went back to Chile and focused her energies on consolidating the Latin American Network of Biodigesters. Through her work in the management of rural and urban biodegradable waste, and her involvement with Zero Waste Alliance Chile Mariela confirmed her drive to seek real paradigm changes. She has been focusing on projects with social impact, particularly environmental justice work. She loves camping, gardening, and sewing.
Events Manager for the Urban Movement Innovation Fund (UMIF)
Marisa Gonzales Nordstrom
Marisa supports GAIA’s work through organizing global conferences and supporting grantees of the UMI Fund. She brings her experience as a facilitator in the field of conflict transformation and equity, inclusion, and diversity. For the past 15 years, she has worked primarily as an environmental educator, youth empowerment mentor, and bilingual performer.
GAIA’s Africa Plastic Campaigner
Merrisa Naidoo is GAIA’s Africa Plastic Campaigner. She has a background in Marine Microplastic Pollution and has previously worked in youth advocacy and campaigning for Marine Protected Areas in Africa and Globally. Merrisa joined the GAIA team in February 2022 and is based in Durban, South Africa.
GAIA Asia Pacific Deputy Director
Before joining GAIA, Mayang coordinated the policy and lobbying work of two global civil society platforms on accountable development finance to human rights and environmental instruments, the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness and the NGO Forum on ADB. She also steered Philippine coalitions and non-profits for policy advocacy and the mainstreaming of integrated local solutions. For ten years, she has managed grants programs for civil society campaigns in the Philippines and regionally in Asia wherein she has administered full grants cycles, knowledge management, and communications work. Earlier in her career, she was a researcher for the progressive think tank, IBON Foundation. She holds a master’s degree in public management.
Associate Director of GAIA U.S.
Monica has worked with GAIA since 2002 and served five years as GAIA’s International Co-Coordinator. Monica serves on the board of the Grassroots Recycling Network, was previously on the board of the Northern California Recycling Association, and is a master composter. In 2012 she was honored to be named by the California Resource Recovery Association as “Recycler of the Year” together with GAIA’s US & Canada Program, for achievement in the field. Monica is based in GAIA’s Berkeley, U.S. office.
Bookkeeper and Office Administrator for GAIA U.S.
Nautica’s experience and passion with youth development cultivated a strong sense of humanitarianism, which laid the path to non-profit work that spearheads global change for the betterment of human life. Active outdoors and well-traveled, Nautica has been a catalyst for love & peace since moving away from his parents’ San Diego home at 17. His ultimate dream is to build an education system that juxtaposes the current education programs available to the youth – developing the leaders of our future.
GAIA Africa Admin Assistant
Neebha Budhoo is GAIA’s Africa Admin Assistant. She holds postgraduate degrees in English and Criminology from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She has a background in human rights education and facilitation. Neebha has worked within different fields including, public health administration across Africa, accessible media, academic editing and legal compliance. She is a djembe percussionist, practices Maori flow art and dabbles in micro-farming. Neebha joined the GAIA team in September 2022 and is based in Durban, South Africa.
Science and Policy Director
A founding member of GAIA, Neil has worked on international environmental policy, climate and development finance, and provided technical support to GAIA members. Neil has a captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
GAIA Africa Regional Coordinator
Niven has a background in social science and worked in the education and environmental planning sector before joining the environmental justice movement in 2016 with groundWork, where he focused on air quality and working with local waste picker groups. He joined the GAIA team in January 2018 and is based in Durban, South Africa.
Organizational Development and Human Resources Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Raimiel is GAIA Asia Pacific’s Organizational Development and Human Resources Officer. His academic background is in Psychology, and has been working in Human Resources for the past five years. He has previously been involved in the Philippine Government’s Higher Education sector and has helped in delivering a few of its key programs for ensuring access to education. He strongly believes in community involvement in inspiring social change, and the role of Civil Society Organizations in this endeavor.
Operations and Finance Coordinator for GAIA Asia Pacific
Rhoda handles administration and finance matters from GAIA’s office in Quezon City, the Philippines. She holds a degree in business administration with a major in accounting. She has over 30 years of experience in the fields of human resource, administration, and finance, and has worked with various NGOs working on issues related to family development and youth organizing, urban poor housing, and agriculture.
Knowledge Management Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Prior to joining GAIA in November 2016, Sherma worked for Philippine-based non-government organizations working on agriculture and health. She also worked as managing editor of a health magazine and has written feature stories on arts, culture, health, and business for various publications. A fictionist writing mostly in the vein of social realism, she uses storytelling to add her voice to the call for social justice and equity and to delve into issues that are often overlooked in discourses.
Plastics Policy Coordinator
Sirine joined GAIA in 2018 as a consultant to work on the UN Environment Assembly and the Basel Convention, before integrating the team in 2022. Previously, she investigated political conflict and human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group and Amnesty International. She holds masters degrees from the University of Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies and is based in Berkeley, California.
GAIA India Coordinator
He has been active in movements and campaigns related to the environment and toxics since 1991. He entered the realm of environmental activism by organizing environmental education programs for schools in Kerala. He is one of the pioneers of the zero waste movement in India and led the zero waste campaigns and programs for Thanal — one of the oldest environmental organizations in South India. His expertise is in organics management, designing and developing zero-waste systems at the community level, and strategizing zero waste programs and campaigns.
Communications Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
Sonia G. Astudillo
Sonia has more than 15 years of experience working in media and communications for women’s magazines, a Philippine Senator and a Congressman, and three other NGOs: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia Pacific, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Asia, and The Way To Happiness – Philippines. She studied Journalism and has a master’s degree in public policy from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. She is also a certified raw vegan chef, detox coach, and yoga teacher. In her spare time, she does batik painting.
Network Development and Member Engagement Officer for GAIA Asia Pacific
As a graduate student currently pursuing international relations, Patricia’s academic background has piqued her interest in international development. She has witnessed and been involved with affairs that have helped to shape international relations, including participation in the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation National Organizing Council, becoming head of delegation under the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths Program (JENESYS), and working under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Clean Energy Campaigner for GAIA Africa
Weyinmi has a background in Environmental Quality Management and Microbiology. Prior to this role, he supported the development of a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Master Plan in Delta State Nigeria, as the project manager, and also the Program Coordinator of Green Knowledge Foundation, Nigeria. Weyinmi joined the GAIA team in May 2022 and is based in Warri, Nigeria.
Climate and Clean Energy Campaign Associate for GAIA Asia Pacific
Yobel Novian Putra
Yobel’s interest in waste issues started from learning the history of a catastrophic landfill avalanche in his hometown, Bandung, Indonesia. Later on, his interest transformed into a passion for learning about zero waste. Before joining GAIA, Yobel worked for 2 years as Zero Waste Policy Advocacy staff at YPBB Bandung (a local NGO which implemented a Zero Waste Cities program since 2013). He was also involved in Aliansi Zero Waste Indonesia works. Yobel graduated from Institut Teknologi Bandung with a degree in environmental engineering.
Head of Communications at Zero Waste Europe
Ana’s previous work experiences include EU institutions, NGOs, and private sector communication companies, where she was responsible for strategic communications, business development, and project communications. Environmental topics have been a constant throughout her career, be it through the link between health and environment, sustainability in the building sector, and the promotion of eco-innovative business practices. Ana holds a BA in Communications Sciences from the University of Porto and a MA in European Studies from KU Leuven. She speaks Portuguese, English, Dutch, French, and Italian.
Administration and Events Officer for Zero Waste Europe
Alexandra has a background in International Relations and European Studies and a Master in Political Science from Université libre de Bruxelles. She has always been interested in topics such as sustainability, economics and development studies. She has previously worked for a company specialized in the production of organic, fair trade and sustainable ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest, and through this activity she has become more aware of the importance of climate protection and the necessity to adopt a much healthier and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Press Officer for Zero Waste Europe
With a background in Journalism, and extensive experience in developing international press campaigns and working in different media, Berta thrives in multicultural contexts where she can raise awareness of environmental projects.Berta holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in International Relations from Complutense University. In addition to her native Spanish, she speaks English, French, some Italian, and a little bit of Russian.
New Financing Models Coordinator for Zero Waste Europe
Caroline focuses on the creation of new financing models for zero waste cities and businesses. Before joining ZWE she worked in many different and challenging environments, in different countries, on diverse topics – from public to private sectors, building businesses from scratch, always driven by the necessity to ‘act for good’.
Finance Officer for Zero Waste Europe
Desi ensures that ZWE runs smoothly and maintains a healthy financial state through compliance with financial procedures. She’s involved in payments, accounting, and budget follow-up; and is a contact point for any financial matters. Prior to joining the team, Desi had work experiences in the healthcare, aviation, and IT sectors. She completed a traineeship at the European Commission’s DG Trade and volunteered in an organization for health and drug prevention amongst the youth.
Policy Officer on Toxic-Free Consumption & Production for Zero Waste Europe
Dorota works on toxic-free consumption and production to ensure safe and sustainable solutions. That means work on the presence of hazardous chemicals in products and packaging, promotion of non-toxic alternatives, and how this all impacts human health, the environment, and the achievement of a truly circular economy. Her advocacy work focuses on the revision of the EU food contact materials legislation.
Executive Director at Zero Waste Europe
Esra leads on the strategic development of Zero Waste Europe as a network and organisation, and manages the implementation of the vision with the team and member organisations. She coordinates the development of European campaigns in partnership with Zero Waste Europe’s members across the continent, and acts as the European Regional Coordinator towards GAIA International to further promote zero waste models worldwide.
Grants & Operations Officer for Zero Waste Europe
Heli has a background in translation and literature and she has previously worked in the European Commission as Assistant in the Interpretation Directorate and Project Coordinator in the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Unit (DG ECHO). She first learned about Zero Waste Europe whilst volunteering for the Estonian NGO Let’s Do It. She loves nature and animals and has always been very vocal about environmental issues and animal rights.
Head of Local Zero Waste Implementation at Zero Waste Europe
Jack has an educational background in international relations having studied at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. For the past 5 years, he has worked for two different NGOs within the international development and sustainability sectors, helping to build movements and communities for change. He has led successful campaigns at the local level within the UK as well as at the global level at institutions such as the United Nations. Jack will be leading our work with municipalities, helping to connect members from across Europe to build and contribute towards the transition of cities towards zero waste strategies.
Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Program Coordinator of Zero Waste Europe
As Development and Policy Coordinator, Janek manages the relationship with Zero Waste Europe’s funders and leads on climate and energy policy advocacy work towards EU institutions. Previously, he worked for the Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) in Brussels where he coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of FoEE and its 6 programmes. Prior to the FoEE, Janek worked for the Justice and Environment (J&E) where he provided leadership for the development of strategic partnerships.
Director-Founder of Zero Waste Europe
Joan Marc Simon
Based in Brussels, Joan Marc has been a leading voice for Zero Waste in Europe since 2007 and he is a regular keynote speaker in many industry and NGO meetings in Brussels but also at local level as well as internationally. He is member of the Steering Committee of the Break Free from Plastics movement. Among many other publications he has authored the Zero Waste Masterplan for cities as well as the book “Zero Waste – How to reactivate the economy without trashing the planet”.
Coordinator of the Mission Zero Academy
Kaisa has an educational background in environmental engineering and she’s about to graduate with an MBA focusing on leadership and service design. Previously, she worked as a consultant for companies, organisations and events on how to establish environmental management systems, she conducted sustainability training, life cycle assessments, and she designed waste management plans.
Consumption & Production Campaigner for Zero Waste Europe
Larissa has a background in Law and she worked as a Legal Consultant on environment, health, and safety policies. She is passionate about environmental protection and sustainable development practices. She is a zero waster at heart, and enjoys running campaigns and empowering people towards sustainable consumption patterns. She also likes cooking and preparing her zero waste cosmetics and products, while fostering her creativity.
Chemical Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels Policy Officer for Zero Waste Europe
As the Policy Officer on Chemicals Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels, Lauriane engages with European institutions to develop ambitious, human-, and environmentally-friendly legislation focusing on the chemical treatment of waste. Before joining ZWE, she did a traineeship at the European Parliament, where she followed the IMCO Committee and focused on consumer protection.
GAIA’s Global Climate Program Director
Mariel is currently driving the global work of Zero Waste Europe as Director of Global Strategy, building bridges and identifying opportunities for collaboration across borders to promote zero waste policies and practices with members worldwide. Prior to this role, between 2014-2019 she was the Managing Director of Zero Waste Europe, during its foundation and early development. Before 2014 she was the lead climate policy campaigner for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
As a Communications Assistant, Nanna supports the implementation of all ZWE’s communication activities, including digital campaigns, newsletters, and content for social media. She joined Zero Waste Europe because slogans like ‘There is no Planet B’ may sound cheesy, but the reality is that we have to change in order to have a future home.
Before joining ZWE Nanna did a traineeship at the European Ombudsman in the Communication Unit. And before moving to Brussels, she worked within communication and marketing in the private sector and at an NGO promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Consumption & Production Coordinator for Zero Waste Europe
Nathan has an educational background in political sciences and EU studies and holds a Master in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Bruges. Nathan has nine years of experience spread between the European and African continents, working for public, private and international institutions. Based in Cape-Town (South Africa), between 2016 and 2018, he also contributed to the research, business development, and advocacy work of the African Climate Finance Hub.
As Operations Director and part of the Management team, Kathleen focuses on defining the operational design of the organization, establishing and promoting the company culture and vision, and making sure the entire team is provided with all they need to succeed. Previously to joining Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), Kathleen worked in the private sector for more than 10 years, where she moved through roles in operations, supply chain, sales, marketing, and others. After this, she spent 2 years in the humanitarian world before joining ZWE.
Stephanie coordinates the engagement of the network of 32 members in the work of ZWE and makes sure that members are supported and empowered to implement a joint vision of a zero waste Europe.
She believes that zero strategies are an essential part of tackling the impacts of climate change, and that networks are powerful instruments for systemic change, as they bring together diverse experiences, knowledge, and voices to have a strong and long-lasting impact.
Communications Officer for Zero Waste Europe
Theresa plays a crucial role in the implementation of communication activities, with a special focus on those related to our Cities & Communities and Membership programmes. She has a background in journalism and experience in communications within the non-profit sector in Malta, and has been involved in a number of voluntary projects. She has a passion for promoting the protection of our planet and all its inhabitants. Theresa holds a Bachelor in Communications and an MSc in Digital Marketing. Besides English and her native Maltese, she is currently taking up French.
Waste Policy Officer
As a Waste Policy Officer, Theresa mainly acts within the EU institutional bubble, pushing for more ambitious legislation on waste management, food waste, or waste shipments. She also supports the Cities & Communities program linking with European legislation and identifying good practices to be disseminated across Europe.
Theresa is seeking to make a contribution towards the transition to a truly circular economy and a waste-free society. She believes that feeding the experiences from zero waste practitioners on the ground into EU policy is the best way to ensure that public policy enhances a waste-free future.
Sign up for our Global Newsletter to stay up today on our cross regional work.