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.
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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.
GAIA's policy statement "Recycling works!" Recycling Works! brings together waste workers, community leaders, and environmental justice activists to create resilient recycling programs that generate good jobs, combat climate change, foster energy independence, and revitalize community health. The campaign was initiated in 2009 by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
GAIA's policy statement "waste pickers and climate policy" Waste pickers are workers in the informal economy who recover recyclable materials from waste. They labor on the frontlines of the fight against climate change, earning livelihoods from recovery and recycling, reducing demand for natural resources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
GAIA's policy statement on toxic waste trade. Toxic waste trade poses a global threat to environmental health. In many cases, this trade is the result of neo-colonial trade agreements that attempt to force politically weaker governments to accept the discards of more economically powerful nations. GAIA's Toxic Waste Trade campaign supports efforts to block this waste colonization across the globe.
GAIA's policy statement on zero waste for zero warming. Aiming for zero waste is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change. GAIA's Zero Waste for Zero Warming campaign supports community-based movements for environmental justice and real climate solutions.