Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Waste Management

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Section title: Waste management

Section subtitle: ???

Our position: The Green Party advocates a shift away from the wasteful use of materials and towards an industrial system based on clean production and principles of zero waste.

Green Solutions

1. We support toxics-use reduction and green chemistry to reduce the amounts of toxic chemicals in production processes, and to replace them with less- or non-toxic alternatives. we call for the phasing out of toxic metals, persistent organic pollutants, persistent bio-accumulative toxins, synthetic petrochemicals, and all avoidable uses of halogenated chemicals.

1. We support clean production methods so that products are designed to be durable, repairable, reusable, recyclable, and energy-efficient, using non-toxic, sustainably-obtained materials, and nonpolluting production methods.

2. We support making manufacturers responsible for the full life cycle of their products by taking back used packaging and products for remanufacturing, reuse, or recycling. The electronics industry in particular must redesign its products to eliminate toxic components and enable clean recycling. We support the Principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (grrn.org/epr/epr_principles.html), as outlined by the EPR Working Group of the Grassroots Recycling Network. Policies to assist this transition include bans, recycled content standards, and economic incentives such as taxation, special fees, and deposits.

3. The precautionary principle should be applied when introducing a technology that might raise a threat of harm to human health or the environment. In such cases, needs assessments and alternatives assessments must be conducted with full public participation. Affected communities must hold decision-making power over technology deployment.

4. The public has a right to know what toxic or potentially toxic chemicals are used and released in their communities, and in products that they might purchase or use. In the case of chemical releases, that right must be made real through continuous emissions monitoring and real-time public disclosure of data.

5. Corporations should be held strictly liable for the consequences of the pollution they produce. We support the Citizens’ Platform on Superfund, as adopted at the 1995 Communities At Risk Superfund Summit in Washington, DC (ccaej.org/projects/platform.htm). We call on the EPA to end the use of incineration as a cleanup technology, and to ensure that “cleanups” don’t simply relocate the toxic mess to chemical waste dumps in poor communities of color.

7. We call for the shut-down of existing waste incinerators, a moratorium on new waste incinerators, and a phase-out of landfills. For all possible waste streams, we support the following strategies (in order of priority) as alternatives to incineration and landfills:

8. * Toxics use reduction

9. * Source reduction, reuse, clean recycling or composting / digestion

10. * Neutralization / sterilization / detoxification methods where applicable

11. No wastes containing toxic or radioactive contaminants significantly above background levels should be deregulated. They should not be allowed to be used in “beneficial use” schemes as fertilizer, “co-products,” or fuels; or by “recycling” them into consumer products (including construction materials) or disposing of them as municipal waste.

12. We oppose the exportation, under any circumstances, of chemicals that are prohibited in the United States. We oppose shipping of toxic, hazardous, or radioactive wastes across national borders, and the shipment of such wastes without strict regulation across any political borders. Waste should not be considered a tradable commodity under the Interstate Commerce Clause.