KARACHI (UN): The International Day of Zero Waste aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, support the societal shift towards circularity and raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The waste sector contributes significantly to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity and nature loss, and pollution.
Humanity generates an estimated 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, of which only 55 per cent is managed in controlled facilities.
Every year, around 931 million tons of food is lost or wasted and up to 14 million tons of plastic waste enters aquatic ecosystems.
Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimize and prevent waste, helping to address the triple planetary crisis, protect the environment, enhance food security and improve human health and well-being.
Adopting Zero Waste
A zero-waste approach entails responsible production, consumption and disposal of products in a closed, circular system.
This means that resources are reused or recovered as much as possible and that we minimize the pollution to air, land or water.
Achieving zero waste requires action at all levels.
Products should be designed to be durable and require fewer and low-impact materials.
By opting for less resource-intensive production and transport methods, manufacturers can further limit pollution and waste.
Advertising and closely managing demand can further enable zero waste throughout products’ life cycles.
Consumers can also play a pivotal role in enabling zero waste by changing habits and reusing and repairing products as much as possible before properly disposing of them.
With governments, communities, industries and other stakeholders increasingly recognizing the potential of zero-waste initiatives, bolstering waste management and improving recovery systems through finance and policymaking.
The Global Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production can guide this transition.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly, Member States and stakeholders, the strategy calls for the adoption of sustainable consumption and production objectives across all sectors by 2030.
On 14th day of December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution at its seventy-seventh session to proclaim 30th day of March as International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually.
Türkiye, with 105 other countries, put forward the resolution.
It follows other resolutions focused on waste, including End plastic pollution: towards an internationally legally binding instrument, adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly on 2nd day of March 2022.
During International Day of Zero Waste, Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth and other stakeholders are invited…
…to engage in activities aimed at raising awareness of national, sub-national, regional and local zero-waste initiatives and their contribution to achieving sustainable development.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) jointly facilitate the observance of International Day of Zero Waste.
Promoting zero-waste initiatives through this international day can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The targets include both the Sustainable Development Goal 11 and Sustainable Development Goal 12.
These goals address all forms of waste, including food loss and waste, natural resource extraction and electronic waste.