From July 31st to August 3rd the California Resource Recovery Association celebrated its 35th annual conference in San Diego, California.
California is the US state with most advance waste and resource management, with San Francisco leading the way with its 75% diversion rate and aiming at Zero Waste for 2020.
In this conference a delegation from Zero Waste Europe from three countries (Italy, Spain and Sweden) presented best European practices in Zero Waste. All in all more than 150 speakers filled the 3 day conference with best practices, information, education and concerted action.
We were surprised to see how Zero Waste plans are being approved all over the board in the state of California. With active campaigns to ban styrofoam and plastic bags, innovative prevention measures and committed companies complementing local administration.
This year a special award went to Captain Charles Moore for his work on the mapping and studying the plastic debris polluting the oceans. We had the chance to board his boat and accompany him to take water samples in the Tijuana bay. The worrying state of water pollution in the Pacific Ocean –with a plastic soup as big as Europe- and how that is affecting sealife. The pollution and depletion of fishstocks is behind the most progressive decisions in California to stop waste from polluting the seas.
Furthermore there were a good number of new Zero Waste initiatives such as a companies that organise Zero Waste events, shops that don’t use any packaging (the American version of the Italian Effecorta and the English Unpackaged ) or campaigns to spread bottle bills.
The event was a very useful event to strengthen the links between the US and European Zero Waste movements.