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The zero waste agenda for the Catalan elections

by Joan Marc Simon

In the context of the upcoming municipal election in Catalonia the next 24th of May, the Estratègia Catalana de Residu Zero (Catalan Zero Waste Strategy) has activated its political influence to put pressure on all political parties and request their commitment to a zero waste agenda.

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The Estratègia Catalana de Residu Zero was created in 2011 to promote comprehensive waste management plans that would aim at closing the cycles of materials and reducing the production and disposal of waste. The Catalan ZW Strategy has been key in the promotion of alternatives to the throwaway society and it has led the constitution of a network of 60 municipalities committed to Zero Waste principles.

Knowing the importance of working at the municipal and community level to implement Zero Waste solutions, the Estratègia Catalana de Residu Zero has put forward 10 proposals that could feed the zero waste agenda of all political parties. The 10 proposals would be:

  • The approval of a local zero waste plan
  • The establishment targets of waste prevention and separate collection aiming at recycling 70% of municipal waste and at producing less than 100 kg per inhabitant and year of residual waste in two electoral terms.
  • Evaluate the construction of composting facilities.
  • Study the viability of introducing door-to-door collection for household waste.
  • Analyse the production of commercial waste and collect it via a door-to-door system.
  • Take measures on waste prevention and green public procurement within the city council.
  • Promote reuse and repair and facilitate the access to reused products.
  • Implement economic incentives to promote waste prevention and a more effective and better separate collection.
  • Increase the cost of landfilling and incinerating whenever these are municipal facilities.
  • Oppose to any type of incineration of the residual waste of the municipality.

Mercè Girona, president of the Fundació Catalana de Prevenció de Residus i Consum Responsable, (Catalan Foundation of Waste Prevention and Responsible Consumption) in charge of the Catalan Zero Waste Strategy, presented the call for commitment along with the mayors of Cruïlles and Sant Jaume de Llierca and two local councillors of Girona and Celrà.

“In order to fully achieve the Zero Waste objectives, it is essential to count on political will and a legal framework promoting good practices and discouraging those that are unsustainable”, said Girona in her intervention.

The next election on May 7th may be the beginning of a renovated political scenario in Catalonia, may it be one that shows a stronger commitment to building a zero waste future.

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