In a joint statement zero waste trailblazers from over 100 countries stood up to world leaders to say ‘don’t just talk about the circular economy and sustainability do it!’ at the G7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily on Thursday May 25th.
The message called on world leaders to put their words into action and detailed 5 steps towards the implementation of circular economy and zero waste strategies globally.
- Ending subsidies for new resources destroying incinerators (euphemistically described as “waste to energy” facilities)
- Announcing a phase out plan for existing incinerators as zero waste plans progress
- Setting up zero waste research facilities to help industry re-design products and packaging that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.
- Building separation facilities for the current fraction in the waste stream which is not reusable, recyclable or compostable. From this should be removed more recyclables, more household toxics and the dirty organic fraction which can be stabilised either via composting or anaerobic digestion before going to an interim landfill.
- Announcing a date whereby only 5% (or less) of the waste stream is allowed into landfills.
- Providing positive incentives to industry to adopt zero waste strategies
The message comes as global leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan the United Kingdom, and the United States and the European Union met in Sicily between the 26 – 27th of May for the 42nd meeting of the group.
Signatories to the message include international NGOs, such as Zero Waste Europe, GAIA (Global Alliance for Zero Waste Alternatives), ZWIA (Zero Waste International Alliance) and The Indigenous Environmental Network, national organisations from around the world, and towns & cities such as Capannori, Italy, and San Francisco U.S.A. Prominent individuals such as Zero Waste hero Paul Connett and Goldman Prize winner Rossano Ercolini from the world of zero waste have also signed the statement which continues to gain signatories.
FULL MESSAGE WITH SIGNATORIES
A message to the G7 Heads of State meeting in Taormina, Sicily, May 26-27, 2017
This message is from citizens’ groups from at least 100 countries who are battling existing and proposed incinerators and are supporting positive steps towards Zero Waste.
Dear G7 Heads of State,
don’t just talk about the circular economy and sustainability, do it! Take active steps to support communities in your countries who are pioneering Zero Waste strategies.
Such active steps should include:
- Ending subsidies for new resources destroying incinerators (euphemistically described as “waste to energy” facilities).
- Announcing a phase out plan for existing incinerators as zero waste plans progress.
- Setting up zero waste research facilities to help industry re-design. Products and packaging that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.
- Building separation facilities in front of all existing landfills for the current residual fraction in the waste stream which is not reusable, recyclable or compostable. From this should be removed more recyclables, more household toxics and the dirty organic fraction which can be stabilized either via composting or anaerobic digestion before going to an interim landfill.
- Providing positive incentives to industry to adopt zero waste strategies.
- Providing funding to help set up Reuse and Repair centers in communities. Once funded these operations are usually self-sustainable.
- Dramatically reduce the production and use of disposable plastic items which are unexpectedly ending up in the oceans and impacting seabirds and the aquatic food chains.
The Circular Economy is the only way to secure a future for our productive system. For example, Europe is importing 60% of primary raw materials and that simply cannot be sustained
Zero Waste practices are the perfect toolkit to turn the “dream” of a Circular Economy into reality, supplementing the traditional reduce/reuse/recycle strategy with the important additional tool of redesigning for improved durability, repairability, recyclability.
In the words of the EU commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella, our “ZW communities are the living examples of Circular Economy and its viability and environmental, economic, occupational benefits”
Zero Waste not only provides sustainable waste management solutions but also offers deep, cross sectoral benefits to address some of the most pressing global problems related to social and environmental justice and human rights.
As wars in the future, might well be caused by fights over limited resources, as they have been in the past, support for zero waste now may avoid incurring further international tensions over resources amongst Nations and can be seen as part of a global peace movement.
We know how busy you are, but may we request that you get your appropriate advisers to acquaint themselves with the details of the zero waste strategy from this book, “The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time” (Chelsea Green, 2013) and also from this movie “Trashed” hosted and co-produced by Jeremy Irons.
Biodigestion Latin american Network
Eco-Cycle International, Zero Waste Strategies Inc, Boulder, Colorado, USA
GAIA (Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives)
IEN (Indigenous Environmental Network)
ZWIA (Zero Waste International Alliance)
Zero Waste Europe
Zero Waste Mediterranean
National, Regional and local Groups
Agro-ecology Centre , Wayanad, Kerala, India
Alliance for Zero Waste Indonesia (AZWI) Indonesia
BaliFokus Foundation, Indonesia
Plastic Bag Diet Movement, Indonesia
Nol Sampah, Indonesia,
PPLH Bali, Indonesia
American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc., USA
APROMAC Environment Protection Association, Brazil
Basura Zero, Chile
Coalición Ciudadana Antiincineración, Argentina
Conservation Action Trust, India
Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia
Društvo Ekologi brez meja / Ecologists without Borders Association, Slovenia
Ecological Recycling Society, Greece
Ecowaste Coalition, Philippines
Environmental Health Trust, Berkeley, California, USA
Green Delaware, USA
Hnutí DUHA (Friends of the Earth) Czech Republic
Instituto Lexo Zero, Brazil
It’s Not Garbage Coalition, Nova Scotia, Canada
ISLR (Institute of Local Self Reliance), USA
Mother Earth Foundation, Philippines
National Toxics Network Australia, Australia
Pesticide Action Network India, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Polish Zero Waste Association, Poland
Rezero-Catalan Waste Prevention, Spain
Residuo Zero, Brazil
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia), Malaysia
Sound Resource Management, Seattle, USA
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistan
Texas Campaign for the Environment, USA
THANAL, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
TOXISPHERA Environmental Health Association, Brazil
UKWIN (UK Without Incineration Network), UK
Work on Waste, USA
Zero Waste OZ, Australia
Zero Waste USA
Zero Waste BC, Canada
Zero Waste Canada
Zero Waste Catalan Strategy, Spain
Zero Waste Cyprus
Zero Waste Italy
Zero Waste Sicily
Zero Waste Slovenia
Zero Waste Spain
Zero Waste Tanzania
Zero Waste Tunisia
Zero Zbel, Morocco
Za Zemiata (Zero Waste Bulgaria)
Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), India
Zero Waste Institute Africa
Zero Zabor ibe (Basque Country)
ZERO – Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável (Portugal)
State and local groups
Neighbors Against the Burner and Airheads, Minnesota, USA
CHASE (Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment), Ireland
Cobh Zero Waste, Ireland
Green Delaware, Delaware, USA
NO Macrovertedero, SÍ Residuo 0, Madrid, Spain
San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco, California, USA
Zero Waste Beijing, China
Zero Waste Capannori (the first town in Italy to adopt zero waste), Italy
Zero Waste San Francisco (the first major city in USA to adopt zero waste), USA
Zerowaste Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Paul Connett, PhD (Work on Waste USA; director of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc, AEHSP)
Rossano Ercolini (Zero Waste Italy; Zero Waste Europe)
Enzo Favoino (Zero Waste Italy; Zero Waste Europe)
Paolo Guarnaccia (Zero Waste Italy)
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Environmental Indigenous Network, USA
Asrul Hoesein, Green Indonesia Foundation Jakarta, Indonesia
Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, Ph.D. (Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI),
Gary Liss, Gary Liss & Associates, San Jose, California, USA
Patrizia Lo Sciuto, Zero Waste Italy
Eric Lombardi, (Eco-Cycle International, Zero Waste Strategies Inc.), Boulder, Colorado, USA
Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Senior Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco, California, USA
Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Sound Resource Management Group, Seattle, USA
Erika Oblak, Coordinator Zero Waste Slovenia
Stacy Savage, President, Zero Waste Strategies, LLC, Austin, Texas, USA
Helen Spiegelman, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Neil Seldman, President, ILSR, Washington, DC, USA
Antoinette “Toni” Stein, PhD, Environmental Health Trust, Berkeley, California, USA
Brenda Platt, Director, Composting for Community Project
Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance