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Article from: Waste Not
The Reporter for rational resource management
# 465 - August 2000 (Subscription information at end)

An alliance of Asia-Pacific Nations for promotion of Clean Production and a Zero-Waste oriented society.

On July 28, 2000, environmental activists from 12 Asia-Pacific nations launched WASTE NOT ASIA - the region's first alliance to oppose the expansion of waste incineration technologies and promote ecological methods of waste management. Waste Not Asia clarified that their alliance members will strive to put in place a sustainable society that will constantly endeavor to achieve a goal of zero waste through an evolving program of clean production. The alliance's work will be based on principles that emphasize materials recovery over materials destruction; solutions that are democratically derived and socially just; systems that are community-based and emphasize local jobs creation involving small businesses as opposed to capital-intensive corporate led interventions. A press release announcing their formation stated that the Bangkok Governor's decision to invest in incinerators to deal with the city's garbage violates every one of the principles of ecological waste management adopted by Waste Not Asia.

Mr. Tara Buakamsri of Greenpeace South East Asia added, "Incineration is a toxic technology being dumped on us by some of the most polluted nations in the world. Japan and Europe have poisoned their own people with incinerators, and now they want to sell their burners in the rest of Asia."

According to Junilyn Slyvestre, a Waste Not Asia delegate from Philippine Clean Air Coalition: "Incineration is waste management in the corporate interest, not the public interest. Waste management in the public interest means conserving our materials for future generations, not converting them into toxic emissions." Ms. Sylvestre criticized the incinerator industry for seeking new markets in Asia when it could no longer build new burners in the United States or western Europe. "This is an example of toxic trade, which seeks to make Asia the toilet bowl of the industrialized world. We are here to let the world know we no longer intend to become the dumping ground for their discarded technologies."

The following statement was adopted on July 29, 2000. Signatories are listed at the end.

THE VISION. Waste Not Asia is a coalition of citizens' groups and individuals from Asia and the Pacific who support a commitment to:
  • decentralized community-based reuse, recycling and composting programmes that promote materials recovery rather than materials destruction
  • ;
  • opposing waste landfills, incinerators and other "end-of-pipe" interventions;
  • ensure that manufacturers are held responsible for designing products and packaging that are ecologically sound through every stage of their life cycle;
  • eliminate persistent organic pollutants or POPs and move towards a toxic free future;
  • reduce generation of waste, promote clean production, and move towards a zero waste society.
Whereas Asia is going through a period of rapid economic and industrial development patterned along the lines of the environmentally and socially destructive throwaway society and culture of over-consumption prevalent in the industrialized North;

Whereas the increasing consumption in Asia is resulting in growing mountains of garbage and other wastes which are sought to be disposed in landfills or burnt openly or in incinerators;

Whereas Asia is under siege from multinational corporations, international financial institutions, aid agencies and governments who seek to push material disposal and destruction technologies such as landfills and incinerators;

Whereas indiscriminate dumping and landfilling of unseparated waste is causing severe environmental, social and public health problems which disproportionately impact and dislocate low income neighborhoods and communities;

Whereas burning waste, with or without the recovery of energy, puts dangerous substances such as toxic metals, dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), into the air and into the residual ash;

Whereas the United Nations Environment Program has identified dioxins, furans and PCBs as persistent organic pollutants requiring priority global action;

Whereas the poor economic and environmental track record of incinerators and landfills in industrialized and developing countries has led to intense public opposition to such technologies;

Whereas many incinerator and landfill proposals have been linked to corruption scandals and undemocratic decision-making processes;

Whereas the disposal and destruction of materials robs future generations of resources, drains local communities of finances and resources, thwarts local economic development and undermines rational approaches to waste management, and concentrates economic benefits in the hands of a few corporations;

Whereas a large informal sector in many Asian countries already exist that provides invaluable service by recovery and recycling;

Whereas incinerators, landfills and other "end-of-pipe" solutions endanger the progressive and superior alternatives that are being pioneered in communities and municipalities around Asia and detract from initiatives to reduce waste and toxics in manufacturing;

Whereas the over-reliance on "end-of-pipe" solutions encourages exploitation via the export of wastes and dirty technologies;

Whereas the investments in landfills and waste destruction technologies are saddling many nations and communities with debilitating debts and undermines poverty alleviation programs;

Whereas lending institutions and international aid and financing agencies, by bankrolling these projects, play a key role in promoting retrogressive waste destruction practices;

Whereas the production and use of unsustainable materials such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) has led to the poisoning of human health and the environment;

Whereas several disasters - such as the Payata dumpsite collapse in the Philippines and the continuing disaster of Japanese dioxin emissions - have indicated the futility of "end-of-pipe" solutions;

Whereas this chemical trespass violates women's fundamental rights to bear healthy children and to breast feed;

THEREFORE, we demand that:
Multilateral, bilateral and private aid and lending institutions like the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), USAID, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank:
  • end funding for materials destruction methods, including incineration and related disposal technologies;
  • cease providing secretive, distorted and biased prescriptions on waste management to governments.
The UN and affiliated bodies:
  • condemn and end the promotion of incinerators and other materials destruction technologies;
Our governments:
  • ban new incinerators and phase-out existing ones;
  • promote materials recovery rather than materials destruction;
  • support local initiatives which benefit communities rather than corporations;
  • open all decisions on waste management to full public participation and transparency at every stage of the process;
  • ensure waste solutions are democratically decided and socially just;
  • provide avoided disposal costs to communities and businesses which divert recyclable and compostable materials from landfills;
  • end hidden subsidies for landfills and incinerators;
  • prioritize waste reduction at source, clean production, pollution prevention and sustainable material use;
  • phase-out unsustainable materials such as PVC and other chlorinated compounds;
  • support the demand for the elimination of POPs in the ongoing treaty negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program;
  • track the elimination of POPs by determining levels of dioxins and furans and other chemicals in the food chain and in mothers' breast milk on a regular basis.
Adopted by the following groups and individuals on

July 29, 2000, in Bangkok, Thailand:

    • GREENPEACE CHINA. Tel: (852)28548311 Fax: 27452426 Contacts: Clement Lam: and Howard Liu:
  • GUAM
    • RECYCLING ASSOCIATION OF GUAM (RAG), PO Box 6734, Tamuning 96931. Tel: 671-646-1051. Fax: 671-647-9092. Contact: Berrie Straatman. Email: Website:
    • DISHA, 20/4 SIL LANE, CALCUTTA - 700015. TEL: 0033-328-3989. Contact: Sasanka Dev:
    • GREENPEACE INDIA, G8 Jangpura Ext., 1st Floor, New Delhi, 110014. Tel: +91-11-431-0651; 9820-182-304. Fax: 0-11-431-0651. Contacts: Nityanand Jayaraman - Email: Shailendra Yashwant - Email: or
    • THANAL, PB NO. 815, KAWDIAR, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA 695003. Tel: +91-471-311-896. Fax: +91-471-435452 (Attn. Jayakumar). Contact: Jayakumar C. - Email:
    • TOXICS LINK, 7 4th St, Venkateswara Nagar, Adyar, Chennai 600 020. Contact: Rajesh Rangarajan:
    • GREENPEACE JAPAN, 1-35-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya Tokyo 151-0053. Tel: 81-3-5351-5413. Fax: 81-3-5351-5417. Contact: Ayako Sekine:
    • JAPAN POPs ELIMINATION NETWORK, Kameido 1-19-10, Kaitaka, Tokyo. Tel/Fax: 03-368-7827. Contacts: Kawana Hideyuki: Email: and Prof. Koa Tasaka, Dept. of Chemistry, International Christian University, 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka City, Tokyo 181-8585. Tel: +81-422-3282. Fax: +81-422-1449. Email:
    • CONSUMERS' ASSOCIATIN OF PENANG (CAP), 228 MACALISTER ROAD, 10400 PENANG. Tel: 6-04-229-3511. Fax: 6-04-229-8106. Contact: Mageswari Sangaralingam. Email: or
    • NEPAL FORUM OF ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISTS, Thapathali, Kathmandu. Tel: 244-989. Fax: 226-028. Contact: Toran Sharma: or
    • SOCIETY FOR CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF THE ENVIORNMENT (SCOPE), 141-D. Blk. 2, PECHS, Bock 2, Karachi, 754000. Tel. 92-21-455-9448. Fax: 92-21-4557009. Contact: Asma Hussain. Email:
    • GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA, 49 Matatag St., Brgy. Pinahan, Quezon City. Tel: +63-2-434-7034. Fax: +63-2-434-7035. Contacts: Von Hernandez (Ecological Waste Coalition): and Junilyn Silvestre (Clean Air Coalition):
    • LANDFILL WATCH, CATHOLIC BISHOP CONFERENCE OF THE PHILLIPINES, 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. Tel: +63-2-527-4148. Fax: +63-2-527-4144. Contact: Eero Brillantes:
    • KOREAN NETWORK FOR WASTE FREE, Mokdong 901, Mokdong Apt. 118-502, Yang Chon Ku, Seoul. Tel: 82-2-2647-4718/011-771-4718. Fax: +82-2-653-4133. Contact: Lim Young Ja. Email c/o Lee Dae Soo:
    • GREEN CITIZEN'S ACTION ALLIANCE, 1F No. 20, Alley 3, Lane 302, Sec. 3, Hor-Ping W Rd., Taipei. Tel: 886-2-230-41950. Fax: 886-2-230-61251. Contact: Jian Zhi Chen:
    • GREEN FORMOSA FRONT, #22 Alley 36, Lin 147, Sec. 3, Shin-yi Road, Taipei. Tel: +886-2-2708-0961. Fax: +886-2-2708-0962. Contacts: Joyce Chia-Chieh Fu, Tung Han Chou, and Yu Pei Hsiao. Email:
    • MEINUNG PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION, 12 Fu-An Street, Meinung 843. Tel: 886-7-6810-467. Fax: 386-7-681-0201. Contact: Kao Chieh Chang. Email:
    • TAIWAN WATCH INSTITUTE, PO Box 803, Taipei. Contact: George Cheng. Tel: 88-62-2389-8183. Fax: 88-62-2389-9036. Email:
    • CAMPAIGN FOR ALTERNATIVE INDUSTRY NETWORK, 801/8, Soi 27, Ngamwongwan Amphur Muang, Nonthaburi 11000. Contacts: Peter Burt. Tel: 66-02-932-7606. Fax: 02-391-3076. Email: and Penchom Tang. Email:
    • COMMUNITY RIGHT INSTITUTE, 3 Wua lai Soi 1, Hai Ya, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053)201-796. Contact: Chaipan Prasawat.
    • ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION GROUP OF KLONG TOE, 70 Rai Community, 100/332, Atnarong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110. Tel: +294-7026. Contacts: Wanrob Hirikul and Weera Suthinpeuk.
    • GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA, Monririn Building Room A201, 6011 Soi Sailom, Phaholyothin Road, Phayathai, Bangkok 10400. Contact: Tara Buakamsri. Tel: (662)2727100-2. Fax: (662)271-4342. Email: and Yanuar Sumarlan.
    • PHUKET ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP, 68/516 Srisuriyothai Rd., Phuket. Tel: (076)213-855. Contact: Chamroen Pohtikit.
    • SUSTAINABLE ENERGY NETWORK FOR THAILAND, 9/22 Soi Pishayanan 22, Tivanon, Muang, Nonthaburi. Tel: 968-8239. Fax: 968-8113. Contact: Suphakij Nuntavorakarn. Email:
  • U.S.A.
    • ESSENTIAL ACTION/MULTINATIONALS RESOURCE CENTER, PO Box 19405, Washington DC 20036. Tel: 202-387-8030. Fax: 202-234-5176. Contact: Neil Tangri:
    • WASTE NOT, 82 Judson Street, Canton NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448. Contact: Paul Connett. Email: or
Note: Neil Tangri (and Annie Leonard) of the Multinationals Resource Center have arranged many trips over the years for Paul Connett to visit several of the Asian countries that signed on to this statement. Neil and Paul were in Malaysia and Thailand for two weeks this July. Both attended the conference which produced the "Waste Not Asia" alliance. Neil provides an invaluable email service by sharing reports, news, and updates on incinerator and related issues. If you wish to receive Neil's emails contact him at:

Waste Not # 465 Published 48 times a year. Annual rates: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Individuals $40; Students & Seniors $35; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US45; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson St., Canton NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448. Email: Ellen Connett, Editor
82 Judson Street
Canton NY 13617
Tel: 315-379-9200
Fax: 315-379-0448

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