GAIA's note on waste and climate. Burning and landfilling waste drives climate change by releasing greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide from incinerators and methane from landfills. Waste disposal also drives climate change by depriving the economy of reused, recycled and composted materials, fueling a linear consumption system that requires the use of more energy and raw materials to create new goods.
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GAIA's note on landfills. Landfills pollute our air, land, and water, and their use fuels an unsustainable linear system of consumption and wasting. As the largest human-created source of methane gas in the world, landfills are also a significant contributor to global climate change.
Original URL: http://no-burn.org/article.php?list=type&type=86
GAIA's note on cement kilns. The incineration of waste burns up resources and results in emissions and residues that are harmful to people's health. Incinerating waste in cement kilns, which are not designed for this nor regulated for it, is a dangerous practice which should not be allowed under any circumstances.
GAIA's note on medical waste. Hospitals generate large volumes of waste that can be highly toxic and infectious, and burning and dumping this waste threatens human and environmental health. In order to fulfill the medical ethic to "first do no harm," the health care industry has a responsibility to manage waste in ways that protect the public and the environment.
GAIA's note on toxic materials. Toxic materials are everywhere - from heavy metals in electronics to flame retardants in furniture and clothing, pesticides in our food, and harmful chemicals in plastics. Yet safer alternatives exist, and governments have a responsibility to protect public health by ensuring that all products be made in a way that's safe for humans and the environment.
GAIA's note on consumption. Our current consumption habits are fueling a global waste crisis. We simply cannot run a one-way, linear system of extraction->production->distribution->consumption->disposal indefinitely on a finite planet. The solution lies in decreasing the amount we consume, and making sure that products are designed to be less toxic, longer-lasting, and easy to recycle.
GAIA's note on zero waste. Zero waste means reducing what we trash in landfills and incinerators to zero. Most things can and should be safely and economically recycled or reused. We also need to simply use less and redesign our products so that they are toxic-free and built to last.
GAIA's note on clean production. Clean Production is a way of designing products and manufacturing processes in harmony with natural ecological cycles. It takes a life cycle view of all materials flows, from extraction of the raw material to product manufacture and the ultimate fate of the product at the end of its life.
GAIA's note on extended producer responsibility. To get to the root cause of waste, communities need to stop picking up after the producers of products that become waste and begin demanding that they do so themselves. The embodiment of this idea is Extended Producer Responsibility, which requires companies that manufacture or sell products to be responsible for such products after their useful life.
GAIA's note on medical waste management. In order to fulfill the medical ethic to "first do no harm," health care providers have a responsibility to manage waste in ways that protect the public and the environment. The first step is waste minimization and separation, and the next is treating infectious waste to prevent the spread of disease.