Pål Martensson, who also calls himself “the garbage man,” has been dealing with waste and campaigning for zero waste for more than a decade already. He worked at the Department of Sustainable Waste and Water Department for City of Goteborg for more than ten years, Sweden where he oversaw five resources recovery centres, including the first ECO-Park in the world – Kretsloppspa rken Alelyckan – that he founded and is now used as a model to public and private sectors worldwide.
Pål shares his long and internationally respected experience in waste management with different audience and networks around the world as active member of the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), Zero Waste Europe and the Swedish Waste Management Group for Recycling and Export group to name a few of the advocacy groups he is involved in. He is a valued speaker in many international events where he had shared his technical knowledge and field experience on Zero Waste concept, strategies and implementation, passing/entrance systems for recycle centres, the role of ECO Parks on waste management and waste prevention, EPR and take-back policies; recyclables redemption value (recyclables deposit systems) for electronics, PET-bottles, aluminum cans, and special packaging; household waste analyses and reduction strategies; and community waste management educational outreach programs.
Pål has not only been actively promoting the principles of zero waste among civil society groups, but has also been active in influencing the policy-makers towards making a policy shift to a more sustainable way of living and waste-free resources management through his numerous national and international speaking engagements with different stakeholders – community dwellers, youth, environmental experts, policy makers and state leaders, business, etc. These events include Peoples’ Forums, meetings with experts, and parliamentary discussions to name a few. He is also recognized for other important projects which benefit all sectors in the society. He is one of the master minds of Project “ZmartZeroWasteLiving” – which aims to educate people about waste and how to reduce it to zero. He has also been involved in many important initiatives such as Project “Living the Life” – which educates people on the need to adopt a new lifestyle and to assist them in changing their habits particularly on buying, reusing and recycling; and Project “Waste prevention with Eco parks” with the Environmental Swedish Research Institute, IVL.
Pål graduated from Technical College in Goteborg in 1972 and Goteborg University in 1976.