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[greenyes] Greenpeace Japan finds roads to Zero Waste in local communities
We just came back from a weeklong tour of Zero Waste with Paul Connett 
from the GDA on the 14th.

And this is the press release we have sent out.
The coverages of the local news paper were very good.

Junichi Sato

Greenpeace Press Release
July 22, 2003

Greenpeace Japan finds roads to Zero Waste in local communities

Greenpeace Japan has made a weeklong tour of Japan titled, “Zero Waste
Tour,” inviting the world’s foremost authority on waste issues, Dr.
Paul Connett. This tour was designed to coincide with the Global Day of
Action against waste incineration, which was participated by more than
200 groups from 62 countries. 

To kick off the tour, a seminar on Zero Waste featuring Dr. Connett was
held in Tokyo before the audience of 150 citizens. 

“It is appropriate that I find myself in the incineration capitol of
the world on this day of global action against incineration. While it is
true that Japan has some of the best designers and engineers in the
world, it is unfortunate that they are spending their time perfecting
solutions at the back end of the problem like incineration instead of
working at front end of better design of packages and products which are
more suitable for the demand of 21st century”, said Dr. Connett.

On July 14, Dr. Connett and Greenpeace Japan then visited the Mayor of
Hino, a city in the outskirts of the metropolitan Tokyo that
successfully reduced its waste by 50%. Greenepeace and Dr. Connett spoke
to Mayor Baba about other cities of the world that successfully reduced
waste by implementing Zero Waste strategy, and recommended to the Mayor
to adopt a similar policy. On 15th, the tour visited the city of Kuki in
Saitama prefecture to see the city’s composting facility, a first of
its kind in Japan, and commended its effort. On 16th, the tour traveled
to Ookimachi in Fukuoka prefecture to visit its bio-gas plant which uses
household kitchen waste, and met with the Mayor. The tour then went
eastward to visit a town of Kamikatsu in Tokushima prefecture, known as
a town without a garbage truck. Mayor Kasamatsu received Greenpeace
group at the Tokushima airport in the evening of the16th. On the next
morning,  a seminar organized by the town of Kamikatsu started from
10:00 AM in its town hall, which was attended by more than 100 villagers
including those who were from neighboring villages and cities. Dr.
Connett spoke to the audience that a Zero Waste declaration announced by
a community would lead corporations to follow this direction and to
force the central government to change their policies inevitably.  The
audience packed in the town hall applauded his lecture, to which the
mayor said he would take into account seriously. On 18th, the tour
visited Nagai-shi and Tachikawa in Yamagata prefecture to meet the
mayors. They were taken to the sites of their composting systems. 

“With the declaration of Zero Waste by 2020 without incineration in
Japan, the Zero Waste communities will take their responsibility to
separate, reuse, and recycle seriously to minimize the pollution, the
industries to maximize the ability to reuse and recycle of their
products by the target date, and the central government to change the
current system to support those communities and industries. The Zero
Waste declaration is the best way to find a way out of our waste
management system which has lost the vision of resource management”,
said Junichi Sato, toxics campaigner of Greenpeace Japan.

“We have traveled almost whole length of Japan from Okicho of Fukuoka
Prefecture in South to Tachikawa of Yamagata Prefecture in North,
looking for communities to prepare to fight throw away ethic.
Specifically we have tried to find mayors who had courage to say No to
incineration and Yes to Zero Waste. Throw away ethic is not natural to
Japanese society, but this fact has been submerged by the mass of
subsidies by central government has squanded building incinerators. It
is in small towns and rural communities in Japan that we are looking for
the visions to pull out the wisdoms of the past to reclaim a sustainable
future for children. We found hope in Hino’s pay by bag system, in
composting operations in Kuki, Oki, Nagai and Tachikawa, and dynamic
leadership of the mayor of Kamikatsu. In the community, 98 % of the
citizens composting in back yards and glad to separate discarded
materials into over 30 different categories in the world most
beautifully located recycling station. We are very well convinced that
at least one of these communities will become the first town in Japan to
declare Zero Waste by 2020”, said Dr. Connett. 

The combined and simultaneous protest actions around the world mark the
observance of the 2nd Global Day of Action against Waste Incineration,
by far the most massive demonstration of public opposition to
incinerators on a global scale. Spearheaded by GAIA, the yearly
anti-incineration day of action intends to highlight the health,
environmental, economic and social problems associated with waste
burning and other polluting waste management practices, and at the same
time promote safe and sustainable alternatives for preventing waste and
managing society’s discards.

The actions also coincide with the first day of the Seventh
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 7) meeting of the Stockholm
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).  The Convention
which has been ratified in Japan aims to eliminate the most persistent
toxic substances known to science, including the cancer-causing dioxins
and furans.

This year’s action surpasses the number of participating groups from
last year’s Global Day of Action that drew 126 groups from 54 countries.  

For information on local issues and activities, please contact Junichi
Sato, toxics campaigner( mobile phone: 81-90-2253-0327) and Keiko
Shirokawa, press officer(mobile phone : 81-90-3470-7884), of Greenpeace
Japan (telephone 813-5338-9800) 

For information on GAIA and the Global Day of Action, 
please visit,
and on Greenpeace Japan,

Junichi Sato
Toxics Campaigner
Greenpeace Japan 
8-11-13 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku TOKYO 160-0023
tel. 81-3-5338-9800
fax. 81-3-5338-9817

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