Zero Waste

Groups to ASEAN: Act on plastic pollution, push Zero Waste in the region

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – On the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrated this month, environmental groups urged the regional body to act on plastic pollution in the region.
“ASEAN member countries can stop plastic pollution and protect our oceans by instituting policies that will reduce the use of single-use disposable plastics, protecting the region’s borders from becoming dumping grounds of waste and polluting waste management technologies from other countries, and implementing ecological and real solutions to the waste crisis,” said Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) movement.
The groups urged the regional body to invest in Zero Waste solutions to drastically reduce demand and consumption of single-use disposable products and packaging.
“As demonstrated by many communities in Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, China, South Korea, and India to name a few, Zero Waste is an economically-viable and sustainable solution to our region’s waste problem. But for it to work at the scale needed to solve the problem, we need our governments to promote and institutionalize it,” said Froilan Grate, Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
Zero Waste is an ecological resource management and reduction model that involves waste separation at source, product redesign, and systematic waste collection and management.
In many Asian countries, Zero Waste may lean more heavily towards organic waste management because organics comprise more than 50% of the waste generated. Waste segregation allows households and communities to capture and manage different types of waste accordingly: recyclables are recycled and organics are managed through composting, biodigestion, and other methods of organics management.
What is left—the residual fraction—is then easier to see. Solutions for this fraction will be designed better to make sure that materials that can neither be truly recycled or composted are systematically reduced.
“By supporting ecological solutions, ASEAN governments not just turn around the issue of waste but also become global leaders and pave the way for creating lasting, climate-friendly, people-centered systems,” Grate added.
Jed Alegado, +639176070248
Communications Officer – Asia Pacific
Break Free From Plastic Movement (BFFP)
Sherma Benosa, +63 9178157570
Communications Officer – Asia Pacific
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration. To learn more about GAIA, visit
Break Free From Plastic Movement (BFFP) is a global movement composed of various nongovernmental organizations working together to address plastic pollution. To learn more about BFFP, visit