Environmental groups are pushing the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) to act on plastic pollution in the region.
Concerned groups urged the regional body to invest in Zero Waste Solutions to reduce the use and consumption of disposable materials, including materials that are used for packaging.
“Asean member-countries can stop plastic pollution and protect our oceans by instituting policies that will reduce the use of single-use disposable plastics, protecting the region’s borders from becoming dumping grounds of waste and polluting waste management technologies from other countries, and implementing ecological and real solutions to the waste crisis,” said Von Hernandez, global coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) movement composed of various non-government organizations (NGOs) working together to address plastic pollution.
“As demonstrated by many communities in Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, China, South Korea and India to name a few, Zero Waste is an economically-viable and sustainable solution to our region’s waste problem. But for it to work at the scale needed to solve the problem, we need our governments to promote and institutionalize it,” said Froilan Grate, Asia Pacific regional coordinator of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, NGOs and individuals from over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration.
Zero Waste is an ecological resource management and reduction that separates wastes, redesigns products, and uses systematic waste collection and management.
In many Asian countries, Zero Waste may follow organic waste management as it comprises more than 50 percent of wastes generated. Through waste segregation, households and communities can manage different wastes, from recyclable to non-recyclable materials, and manage organic wastes through composting, bio-digestion and other methods of environmental management.
“By supporting ecological solutions, Asean governments not just turn around the issue of waste but also become global leaders and pave the way for creating lasting, climate-friendly, people-centered systems,” Grate added.