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Pollution & Waste

Mitigating our immense output of waste and pollutants

Pollution and waste are the ever-present byproducts of rampant industrial development and overconsumption.

We are contaminating our air, soil, and water with little regard for our environment. Those who hold polluters accountable remind us that our patterns of production and consumption must fundamentally change, as must the ways in which we manage and dispose of our waste.

Everyone needs to start thinking about waste. Every time you make a purchase, challenge yourself to go further down the value chain.

Malawi, 2021
Gloria Majiga-Kamoto

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Goldman Prize Winners awarded for Pollution & Waste

Chima Williams

Chima Williams

2022 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Africa
Nigeria

In the aftermath of disastrous oil spills in Nigeria, environmental lawyer Chima Williams worked with two communities to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for the resultant widespread environmental damage. On January 29, 2021, the Court of Appeal of the Hague ruled that not only was Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary responsible for the oil spills, but, as parent company, Royal Dutch Shell also had an obligation to prevent the spills. This is the first time a Dutch transnational corporation has been held accountable for the violations of its subsidiary in another country, opening Shell to legal action from communities across Nigeria devastated by the company’s disregard for environmental safety.


Gloria Majiga-Kamoto

2021 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Africa
Malawi

Concerned about the environmental harm caused by mounting plastic pollution in Malawi, Gloria Majiga-Kamoto fought the plastics industry and galvanized a grassroots movement in support of a national ban on thin plastics, a type of single-use plastic. As a result of her dedicated campaigning, in July 2019, Malawi’s High Court upheld the ban on the production, importation, distribution, and use of thin plastics. This is the first Prize for Malawi.


Kristal Ambrose

2020 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Islands & Island Nations
The Bahamas

Drawing on the power of youth activism, Kristal Ambrose convinced the government of The Bahamas to ban single-use plastic bags, plastic cutlery, straws, and Styrofoam containers and cups. Announced in April 2018, the nationwide ban went into effect in January 2020.


Manny Calonzo

Manny Calonzo

2018 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Islands & Island Nations
The Philippines

Manny Calonzo spearheaded an advocacy campaign that persuaded the Philippine government to enact a national ban on the production, use, and sale of lead paint. He then led the development of a third-party certification program to ensure that paint manufacturers meet this standard. As of 2017, 85% of the paint market in the Philippines has been certified as lead safe.


Uros Macerl

Uroš Macerl

2017 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Europe
Slovenia

Uroš Macerl, an organic farmer from Slovenia, successfully stopped a cement kiln from co-incinerating petcoke with hazardous industrial waste by rallying legal support from fellow Eko Krog activists and leveraging his status as the only citizen allowed to challenge the plant’s permits.


Zuzana Caputova

Zuzana Čaputová

2016 Goldman Prize Winner
Pollution & Waste
Europe
Slovakia

A public interest lawyer and mother of two, Zuzana Čaputová spearheaded a successful campaign that shut down a waste dump that would have poisoned the land, air, and water in her community, setting a precedent for public participation in post-communist Slovakia.


Partners in Pollution & Waste

The Goldman Prize is honored to partner with a variety of environmental organizations around the world, each of them united in the goal of protecting our planet. From our nominating partners to global organizations to grassroots NGOs led by Prize winners, they are all essential parts of the environmental community.

  • Plastic Pollution Coalition logo
  • Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives logo
  • IPEN logo
  • Break Free From Plastic logo
  • CHEJ logo
  • Earth Life Africa logo