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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLES

For fast action on waste and methane Justice

At its seventy-seventh session on December 14th, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming March 30th as the International Day of Zero Waste. This annual celebration was established in recognition of the role that promoting zero waste initiatives plays in advancing the goals and targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11 and Sustainable Development Goal 12. These goals encompass various forms of waste, including plastic waste, food loss and waste, natural resource extraction, and electronic waste.

Zero waste is defined as the conservation of all resources through responsible production, consumption, sufficiency, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials, without burning, and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. Importantly, zero waste strategies aim to help societies produce and consume goods while respecting resource scarcity, planetary boundaries, and the rights of communities. These versatile strategies focus on continually reducing waste through source reduction, separate collection, composting, and recycling, ensuring that all discarded materials are safely and sustainably returned to nature or manufacturing processes. Practicing zero waste entails moving toward a world where all materials are used to their utmost potential, nothing goes to waste, and the needs of people—workers and communities—are met through a system that protects and does no harm to the environment.

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