Vanessa Zapata (she/her)

Staff Attorney


Just Zero works to implement just and equitable solutions to climate-damaging and toxic production, consumption, and waste disposal practices.  

 We focus on answers that put human and ecosystem health over polluter profits.

J.D. Vanderbilt University School of Law
B.A. International Relations, Mount Holyoke College
Admitted to practice law in Tennessee and New York


A just society necessitates acknowledging the environmental crisis and finding ways to address it. The abundance of waste produced and the toxic ways we dispose of it is a major contributor to the environmental crisis and the disproportionate inequities in health and safety that certain communities face around the world. The Zero Waste movement is a commonsense approach that is supported by research and science to reduce the harms of waste pollution. We have the power and creativity to press big companies to redesign products and packaging for better recyclability and reusability and to provide pathways for communities to safely and sustainably deal with waste. 

At Just Zero, I provide legal analysis and advocacy on laws and policy that move us forward on reducing waste, defending overburdened communities from toxics, and protecting our environment. This includes educational and technical support for community members, partner organizations, lawmakers, and other stakeholders. 

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