International Day of Zero Waste Date in the current year: March 30, 2024

International Day of Zero Waste The International Day of Zero Waste is a United Nations observance held annually on March 30. It was created in 2022 to highlight the importance of sustainable production and consumption practices and to boost waste management on a global scale.

Every year, households, small businesses, and public service providers across the world generate more than 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste, ranging from food and plastic to packaging and electronics. However, waste management services are not equipped to handle such a copious amount of waste. As a result, 2.7 billion people around the globe don’t have access to solid waste collection, and only a little over 60% of municipal solid waste is managed in controlled facilities. If nothing is done to improve waste management on a global scale, the amount of municipal solid waste generated every year will increase to 3.8 billion tons by 2050.

The global waste crisis is a complex problem, and its solution requires a complex approach. While it is important to improve waste collection, recycling and other forms of waste management, it is just as important to reduce waste production at all levels by adopting sustainable consumption and production practices. The International Day of Zero Waste was created to remind people that in order to solve the global waste crisis, we must treat waste as a resource.

But what exactly does treating waste as a resource entail? The key to this approach is reducing waste generation and following the life cycle approach: reusing or recovering resources as much as possible, and designing durable products that require fewer materials and have low environmental impact. Solutions like this help to reduce the extraction of natural resources, which are limited and therefore precious, and minimize air, land, and water pollution.

The zero waste approach should be implemented at all levels by all stakeholders; this is the only way to eventually achieve zero-waste societies. Consumers, for example, can limit their consumption (in other words, stop buying things they don’t really need, as well as repair and reuse products as much as possible) and properly dispose of waste. Communities, industries, governments, and other stakeholders must improve policy-making and financing in the sphere of municipal waste management, taking into account that some parts of the population are disproportionately affected by the waste crisis. They include marginalized communities, the urban poor, youth, and women.

The United Nations General Assembly declared March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste in December 2022 to raise public awareness of the global waste crisis and promote zero-waste initiatives that address all forms of waste and issues such as food loss and waste, electronic waste, and natural resource depletion. The observance is jointly facilitated by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); stakeholders that organize and engage in events and activities include UN member states and organizations, civil society, the private sector, and others.

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