Tag Archives: Circular Economy

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:

  1. Ending subsidies for new resources destroying incinerators (euphemistically described “waste to energy” facilities).
  2. Announcing a phase out plan for existing incinerators as zero waste plans progress.
  3. Setting up zero waste research facilities to help industry re-design. Products and packaging that cannot be reused, recycled or composted.
  4. Building separation facilities in front of all existing landfills for the current residual fractionin 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.
  5. Providing positive incentives to industry to adopt zero waste strategies.
  6. Providing funding to help set up Reuse and Repair centers in communities. Once funded these operations are usually self-sustainable.
  7. 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.


Signers include:

International Groups

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

WALHI/FoE, 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

IRTECO, Tanzania

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)

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),

Islamabad, Pakistan)

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

Waste-Free Ontario Bill – the Devil in the Details

Ontario has a bold new plan to transform how we manage waste that encourages the development of products that are never discarded. Instead, they are reintroduced into a system to be reused, refurbished, recycled or reintegrated into new products-this is called the circular economy. This also provides business with the incentive to design innovative ways of turning what is considered a waste into a resource.

“Managing our resources more effectively will benefit Ontarians, our environment and economy and support our efforts to fight climate change.”

Glen R. Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

In November 2015, the province of Ontario introduced the new Waste-free Ontario Act, the purpose of this new legislation is to divert more waste from landfills, create jobs, and help fight climate change. The province of Ontario also posted a draft Waste Free Ontario strategy for public and stakeholder feedback. The draft strategy is meant to be a roadmap for Ontario to transition to a province that produces zero waste and zero greenhouse gas pollution from waste.

Currently, the bill (151) status is second reading debate and the comment period for the Waste –free Ontario strategy ends on February 29 2016.

If passed, Bill 151, the proposed Waste-Free Ontario Act will enact the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act and the Waste Diversion Transition Act. The proposed legislation is intended to enable a shift to a circular economy that would increase resource recovery and waste reduction in Ontario.

Ontario will be following other governments including Scotland and the European Commission creating new policies that incorporate circular economy mandates with waste reduction and generation.

While the Waste-free Ontario strategy speaks of an action plan towards a “zero-waste future” there is in fact no definition of Zero Waste, certainly to achieve internationally recognized standards for Zero Waste, Zero Waste Canada recommends that both the internationally recognized definition of Zero Waste and the Zero Waste Hierarchy are used as guidelines.

The strategy is a plan to achieve two stated goals: a zero waste Ontario and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector. The three objectives that are outlined in the draft strategy are:

  1. Increase Resource Productivity and Reduce Waste: Resource productivity is the process of using resources as effectively as possible in order to reduce or avoid waste. As increasing resource productivity is a new way of thinking in dealing with waste in Ontario, there is the need for a clear provincial direction and an agenda to support this objective. Ontario would use a variety of tools and actions to encourage Ontario producers’ to show leadership and innovation in resource productivity to prevent waste.
  2. Enable an Efficient and Effective Recycling System: Empowering producers with full responsibility for their products and packaging could bring about improved ways to recover, manage, recycle and reintegrate materials into the economy in a manner that reduces costs. Enhanced generator and service provider requirements could help produce clean waste streams, help direct more wastes to recycling and help extract maximum value from these streams.
  3. Create Conditions to Support Sustainable End-Markets: To make recycling economically viable, the government will need to emphasize the development of markets for recovered materials. This would require co-ordinated actions using multiple tools to capitalize on the economic opportunities associated with collection, transportation, processing and re-integration of resources into Ontario’s economy.

This new legislation holds promise but it will not just words but actions that will fulfill this new directive. There is a need for clear timeframes and goals, continuous review, involving all stakeholders including small business, existing repair, reuse, recycling and waste sector businesses, and an action plan for both short-term and long-term goals.

While in the draft stages until the questions of who, what, how, how much and why are answered, it is difficult to predict the impact this legislation could have on the economy and the environment.

As the saying goes” the devil is in the details”.

Zero Waste Canada feedback Waste- Free Ontario bill    logo-70px   Zero Waste Canada Ltd