On the occasion of the first International Zero Waste Day, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, called on the General Assembly of countries to launch a war against waste.
According to figures from the World Bank, the world generates more than 2,000 million tons of solid municipal waste each year and at least 33% is not properly managed.
Greenpeace, for its part, reported that around 931 million tons of food is lost or wasted annually and 14 million tons of plastic waste reaches oceans, rivers and other key ecosystems.
“Humanity is treating our planet like a garbage dump. We are destroying our only home. We are generating a torrent of waste and pollution that is affecting our environment, our economies, and our health,” Guterres said during his speech.
What is Zero Waste Day?
Zero Waste Day is a global event held annually on March 30 to raise awareness of the importance of reducing waste and promoting sustainable living.
The objective of this day is to encourage people to adopt ecological practices and minimize their impact on the environment by reducing the generation of waste, reusing and recycling materials, and composting organic waste.
The event emphasizes the need for collective action to address the problem of waste and promote sustainable living practices.
Zero Waste Day serves as a reminder that small changes to our daily routines can make a significant difference in reducing waste and conserving natural resources.
International Zero Waste Day
International Zero Waste Day was established by a UN General Assembly resolution last December, following a proposal by 106 member states of the organization, led by Turkey.
The new International Day draws attention to the myriad negative impacts of waste, thus encouraging cross-sectoral action around the world to reduce pollution and waste.
Every year, some 930 million tons of food, responsible for at least eight percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that warm the atmosphere, are lost or wasted, while 14 million tons of plastic waste invade aquatic ecosystems.
“Waste management is essential to overcome housing challenges, better address the sanitation challenges of our cities and, in particular, the challenges of the climate crisis,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN Habitat.
In instituting the new day, the UN General Assembly called on all stakeholders to engage in “activities aimed at raising awareness of national, subnational, regional and local zero waste initiatives, and their contribution to achieving sustainable development ”.
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