“Zero Waste”: a new concept spreading around the world as a final solution to waste An international conference organized by IndyACT recommends a Zero Waste law
Organized by the global league of activists, IndyACT, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and in the presence of ministers, deputies and experts from around the world, the International Conference on the “Zero Waste” principle as a solution to the problem of waste in Lebanon and in the Arab world was launched.
During the conference a number of experts gave lectures showing how several authorities around the world have started to adopt the “Zero Waste” principle and how other waste management policies have failed, especially incineration technology. Among the most important speakers was Kevin Drew, coordinator of the “Zero Waste” project in the city of San Francisco, which adopted this principle as a solution to its waste problem.
IndyACT also launched a new report explaining how Arab countries can apply the principle of “Zero Waste”, while the Minister of Environment identified the progress in Lebanon’s new draft legislation on waste management.
Solid waste is one of the most important challenges facing developing countries, where in most cases, waste is landfilled or incinerated, leading to contamination of water or dissemination of carcinogenic pollutants in the air.
This conference comes at a time when the Lebanese government is trying to solve the problem of solid waste before it becomes a social and environmental catastrophe due to the lack of space to dump this waste in the near future.
One of the proposed solutions is incineration, despite its failure in the past in Lebanon and in several countries around the world.
“If we decide to proceed with the adoption of incinerators as a solution to the problem of solid waste, then we would be burning our money, loosing job opportunities, while producing carcinogenic and deadly chemical fumes”, said Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of IndyACT. “Lebanon is one of the few countries around the world that does not have a law on solid waste management, and the waste problem cannot be solved without such a legislation”, said Hmaidan.
“Zero Waste” is a new progressive principle adopted by many institutions and regions around the world such as Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, the city of San Francisco in the United States, most of the counties in New Zealand and many others as both a final and profitable solution to the problem of solid waste.
The “Zero Waste” principle aims at managing materials from the extraction stage down to the stage of manufacturing, packaging, shipping, sales and reprocessing.
This is different from the principle of recycling in that it relies on planning to ensure the reutilization of manufactured goods even before they are produced.
It is worth noting that the “Zero Waste” principle is the only solution to achieve sustainability and complete protection from the environmental damage caused by waste; it is the least costly solution, provides employment in the field of solid waste treatment, supports local industry and reduces imports of products.
“We remain hopeful that Zero Waste would form the heart and soul of your country’s waste law and provide a model that other countries in the Arab region and the rest of the world can learn from and emulate”, said Emmanuel Calonzo, the international coordinator of GAIA.
IndyACT is calling that the Lebanese state to be globally the first and leading country to adopt a “Zero Waste” strategy and to develop a progressive law to implement it.
Note for the editor:
- Part of this conference was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Photos from this event will be available at: http://indyact.blogspot.com
Publications are available on : www.slideshare.net/indyact
For more information, please contact:
Ali Fakhry, Communication Director
Phone - Fax: +961-1-447192