Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:13:26 -0500

[Clipped from the Green web site :
for info call 607-756-4211]

US National Green Program

This platform is developed by the Congress of the Greens/Green Party
USA for use by any Green group. It was started over five years ago, and
continues to evolve, by an open, consensus-oriented, democratic process.

Materials and Waste Management

We call for major reductions in per capita consumption of materials and
significant increases in the efficiency with which materials are used. Waste
reduction should be maximized and disposal minimized. This entails
shifting the perception of the waste crisis from one of waste handling to
one of resource management.

We should serve as model citizens in our materials use and consumption,
and in our waste generation behavior. For example, we should avoid the
use of readily disposable products such as polystyrene food and beverage
containers, we should recycle and compost, and we should buy products
made from recycled materials when available.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

We endorse a basic hierarchy of strategies for minimizing waste disposal:
reduce, reuse, recycle. We call for education programs for the general
public and in the schools regarding the benefits of this approach.

We must stop producing what is not needed. We call for the production of
high-quality products that are designed to be durable, repairable, and
recyclable at the end of their useful life (as opposed to planned
obsolescence); the reuse of products in initial form (such as reusing glass
bottles); and recycling of discarded products to create new ones.

We favor recycling of products back into the same type of products (such
as old newspapers into new ones) over recycling materials into products
that displace other materials (such as recovered plastic into plastic lumber,
which replaces wood and does not affect the use of virgin plastic resins).

We call for accelerated implementation of residential curbside collection of
separated recyclable and compostable materials in all communities where
curbside collection of mixed solid waste currently takes place. A wide
range of materials should be targetted for this separate collection (for
example, glass, aluminum, other metals, yard waste, newspaper,
corrugated cardboard, other paper, motor oil, plastics, appliances, tires,
food waste).

In communities not served with residential curbside service, residents
should have the opportunity to recycle and compost a wide range of

Recovery of a wide range of recyclable and compostable materials
generated from institutional and commercial sectors should be mandatory.
We call for community control of materials.

Governments (federal, state, and local) should provide low-interest loans,
subsidies, or other incentives to encourage locally owned and operated
businesses to make products from recycled materials. They should further
develop and implement strategies to encourage stable markets for
recovered materials.

We call for a return to a returnable/refillable bottle system for food and
beverage containers, and for deposit legislation for glass, metal, and plastic
beverage containers.

We support a deposit on all wet and dry cell batteries to encourage
collection of these for recycling or handling as hazardous materials.
Nonrechargeable batteries should be phased out as rapidly as possible. We
call for the local use of more of our scrap materials in order to "close the
loop" locally, increase efficient use of materials, promote local
and get the maximum economic benefits from these scrap materials.

Local governments should give preference to locally owned recycling
enterprises in order to create and support local industry, minimize
transportation of materials, retain community control of materials, and
stimulate the local economy.

States and cities have the right to restrict and control the use of products
and packaging that pose an undue burden on the environment. Such
materials include nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable, and toxic materials
and excessive packaging. To this end, we call for implementation of
agreements with producers/manufacturers to redesign their products,
legislation (bans, taxation, recycled content standards), educational
programs (consumer and producer education, and boycott campaigns),
and economic incentives/disincentives (taxation, special fees, and/or

Until such time as CFCs are eliminated and replaced with
nonenvironmentally destructive alternatives, we call for the recycling of
CFCs rather than their release into the atmosphere. We do not accept the
substitution of compounds such as hydrogenated fluorocarbons (HFCs),
which also contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.

Life-cycle considerations

We must consider the whole "life cycle" of a product. Ecologically
responsible production entails releasing no persistent toxic substances in
production, use, repair, or disposal; the frugal use of energy; use of
renewable resources; environmentally sensitive extraction methods; and
worker safety.

We call on those bodies responsible for establishing product standards to
include life-cycle considerations in their standard setting process for
product approval. We further call for citizen participation in this process.

Waste management

We oppose incineration of municipal solid waste, sewage, nonbiological
medical waste, and toxic waste. We call for a moratorium on any new
incinerators that burn such materials, and a rapid shut-down of existing
incinerators that do so.

Until these incinerators are shut down, we call for the strictest air and ash
emission standards and the strictest enforcement of these standards. We
oppose efforts to exempt municipal solid waste incinerator ash from strict
regulation as a hazardous waste.

We oppose the open-air burning of agricultural wastes that can be
aerobically or anaerobically composted or recycled into the soil

We call for local solutions over dumping waste problems on neighboring
communities or relying on distant export markets to recycle our scrap

We oppose the traditional siting of waste disposal facilities in poor,
minority, or relatively powerless neighborhoods, and in other areas of least
political resistance.

We support grassroots groups in their efforts to address the root cause of
the solid and toxic waste generation problems.

Toxic and nuclear wastes

We endorse the strategy of grassroots groups using Good Neighbor
Agreements as a tool to force local polluting facilities to eliminate or reduce
toxic emissions, to empower citizens to inspect the facility and challenge
unacceptable practices, to allow citizens to monitor toxic emissions
independently, to establish regular meetings to monitor and assess the
success of the Good Neighbor Agreement, and to enact any other activities
relevant to the local situation.

We call for the immediate repeal of the Price-Anderson Act and all other
federal, state, and municipal legislation that limits corporate, government,
or individual liability for nuclear and hazardous/toxic waste.

We call for legislation to hold private enterprise (both operators and
investors) and government operations accountable for all toxic waste
dumping, spills, and contamination on or off their sites and responsible for
all costs of a complete clean-up. Disputes regarding the clean-up effort
would be settled once the clean-up has been completed. Joint and several
liability would be maintained in all cases where individual liability cannot
be ascertained or arbitration agreements are not fulfilled.

In addition, we call for levying sizable fines on the guilty parties, and for
aggressive criminal prosecution where warranted. Individual residents
would have legal standing in all pollution cases. Revenues collected would
be used to compensate victims of contamination for ill health effects and
property value losses, and to fund industries and government operations
undergoing conversion to ecologically sound operations.

We call for the elimination of all toxic releases into the environment as
soon as humanly possible. Until this is achieved, we call for strict
enforcement (for example, through independent monitoring by use of split
samples and citizen inspections) and the strengthening of environmental
laws regarding the release, production, transportation, recycling, and
disposal of any toxic materials or emissions. We also call for the use of
more benign toxic waste reduction techniques, such as biodigestion,
various oxidation processes, and glassification.

We call for waste audits of, and preparation and implementation of waste
reduction and future waste disposal plans by, businesses and government
operations generating hazardous/toxic wastes as a condition of receipt of
operating permits.

We oppose shipping of toxic wastes across national borders, and the
shipping of toxic/hazardous or radioactive wastes across any political
borders without the approval of inhabitants of that jurisdiction. We oppose
deep-well injection disposal of toxic wastes because of potential future
migration of those wastes into water supplies or other channels affecting
the living environment

We oppose deregulation of low-level radioactive nuclear waste. We
demand that all radioactive waste that remains hazardous for longer than
100 years or is extremely biologically active be reclassified as "high-level"

We call for permanent above-ground, continuously monitored storage of
nuclear waste at or near the sites where it is generated.

We call for a ban on all technologies that result in high-level radioactive
waste. This includes but is not limited to nuclear weapons production and
nuclear power generation. Environmentally destructive technologies,
processes, and products should be replaced with alternatives that are not
environmentally destructiv