The International Day of Zero Waste aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Humanity generates an estimated 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, of which only 55 per cent is managed in controlled facilities. By 2050, this could rise to 3.88 billion tons per year. The waste sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in urban settings and biodiversity loss. Around 931 million tons of food is wasted each year, and up to 37 million tons of plastic waste is expected to enter the ocean annually by 2040.
The United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 2022 formally recognized the importance of zero-waste initiatives and proclaimed 30 March as the International Day of Zero Waste, to be observed annually beginning in 2023.
Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimize and prevent waste. This contributes to reducing pollution, mitigating the climate crisis, conserving biodiversity, enhancing food security and improving human health.
The United Nations Environment Programme and UN-Habitat will facilitate the observance of the Day. All Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to implement zero-waste initiatives at local, regional, subnational and national levels.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly will convene a one-day high-level meeting on Zero Waste on Thursday, 30 March 2023 at 10 am EDT, in the General Assembly Hall.
The meeting will provide a platform to exchange the experiences and success stories of Member States in developing and implementing solid waste management solutions and technologies, including innovative projects and programmes such as local and national zero-waste initiatives to foster the environmentally sound management of waste.
Article republished from Unep.org