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[GreenYes] Media Release/Earth Summit: Steps toward Zero Waste at Summit
Activists Applaud Commitment and Steps towards Zero Waste at Earth Summit
At meeting, confirm will closely follow implementation of Zero Waste plans


Contact:Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, (mobile)
	  Monica Wilson, GAIA, USA, (office) +1-510-524-4000 x104,
	  Gary Liss, Consultant, USA, (office) +1-916-652-7850,

Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 August 2002 -- The United Nations, the World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Civil Society Secretariat, and the
South African Government are together implementing huge steps towards
designing waste out of the system of the 2002 Earth Summit Civil Society
Global Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa (August 19—September 4). At the
"Zero Waste, Not Incineration Forum" on 27 August, activists voiced hopes
that the waste reduction systems would be implemented as planned by the
Global Forum management.

Waste targets for the Global Forum include:
·	Reduce total potential waste by 80 to 90%
·	Reduce water and energy consumption by 20%
·	Zero waste to incinerators

The Global Forum will be the largest component of the World Summit on
Sustainable Development, also called the Earth Summit; 30,000 delegates are
expected to attend the Global Forum daily at the height of activities. The
Global Forum is located at the Johannesburg Expo Centre (Nasrec).

“We hope that Global Forum and Earth Summit management will implement these
plans correctly, to show that it is possible to drastically reduce waste
through simple systems and educated product choices,” said Muna Lakhani,
coordinator of the Zero Waste Earth Summit team for Earthlife Africa in
Johannesburg. “We are educating participants to actively take control of the
waste they produce, and we hope to inspire Zero Waste policies in South
Africa and around the world.”

Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg Branch), with the support of GAIA, the Global
Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, has been working to design waste out
of the Earth Summit, and reuse, recycle and compost as many discards as
possible. A large element of Zero Waste efforts is preventing the
procurement of environmentally-unsustainable products such as plastic
packaging (especially PVC), plastic products that may be thrown away, and
toxic chemicals and solvents.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General of the United Nation responsible for
the Earth Summit, met with Earthlife Africa's Zero Waste team in June to
confirm his support for Zero Waste efforts throughout the Earth Summit. "I
support this project, and encourage all to reach as close to Zero Waste as
is possible," Mr. Desai stated.

Zero Waste refers to a range of policies and practices designed to achieve a
sustainable use of materials and the minimum of waste discarded. Zero Waste
is consistent with the recent Stockholm Convention's goal towards
elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), including incinerator
by-products dioxin and furans. Zero Waste systems will reduce the
environmental impact of the WSSD itself, set the highest standards for
future events, and demonstrate the viability of Zero Waste to thousands of
international visitors.  Zero Waste also holds great potential for
livelihood generation and poverty alleviation as reuse, recycling, and
composting produce far more jobs than wasting.

Earthlife Africa is a volunteer driven South African organization that has
been active on environmental and social issues since 1988. GAIA is an
international alliance working on waste reduction, with over 265 members in
more than 55 countries. For more information, photographs of the collection
systems, and updates, as well as articles about the waste problems following
the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, please see and

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