Rossano Ercolini was awarded the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize for his leadership in a grassroots campaign educating Italian communities on the merits of zero waste. As a result of his efforts, 40 incinerators have been scrapped or shut down and 117 municipalities (home to more than 3 million residents) have joined his home town of Capannori in adopting a goal of zero waste.

In his acceptance speech, Rossano shows the important connection between the anti-incineration battles and zero waste movement, plus it adds a bridge with the food and climate issues.

“It’s such an inspiring speech” – said Mariel Vilella, Vice-Chair of the UKWIN Board of Directors – “Zero Waste can play a key role in dealing with environmental and social challenges such as climate change and food sovereignty. It’s important that we look at alternatives to incineration from a wide perspective to reinforce the many campaigns for environmental justice.”

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest prize for grassroots environmentalists. Each of the winners, chosen from the planet’s six inhabited continental regions, demonstrate exceptional courage and commitment, often working at great risk to protect our environment. In the process, they inspire the rest of us to do the same.

To watch a video of the acceptance speech by Rossano Ercolini visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9hjgoimXaOY#!

On a related Zero Waste note, people can nominate products that cannot be recycled, re-used or repaired for a People’s Design Lab Award.

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