As you will see in this report, the world is on a trajectory where waste generation will drastically outpace population growth by more than double by 2050. Although we are seeing improvements and innovations in solid waste management globally, it is a complex issue and one that we need to take urgent action on.
Solid waste management affects everyone; however, those most affected by the negative impacts of poorly managed waste are largely society’s most vulnerable—losing their lives and homes from landslides of waste dumps, working in unsafe waste-picking conditions, and suffering profound health repercussions.
Too often, the environment also pays a high price. In 2016, the world generated 242 million tonnes of plastic waste—12 percent of all municipal solid waste. Plastic waste is choking our oceans, yet our consumption of plastics is only increasing. Cities and countries are rapidly developing without adequate systems in place to manage the changing waste composition of citizens.