On March 30, 2023, the world will mark the first annual International Day of Zero Waste.
The day is a call to action to reduce waste and shift towards a more sustainable future for all. The world generated 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid waste in 2020, of which 45% was mismanaged. This is exacerbating the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution.
Ms. Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of UNEP, notes that we cannot continue to take from the Earth and throw away valuable resources when we are already in debt to the planet. Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, emphasizes the importance of reducing waste at all levels, from the individual to the international.
Achieving zero waste requires the involvement of all stakeholders, including national and local governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, communities, women, and youth. Promoting zero-waste initiatives can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Sustainable Development Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The International Day of Zero Waste is an opportunity to highlight the importance of reducing waste and promoting responsible production and consumption patterns. By committing to reducing waste and shifting towards a more circular system, we can improve the quality of life for people and prevent waste from harming both the environment and human health.
Join the movement towards a more sustainable future on March 30, 2023, by celebrating the International Day of Zero Waste. Together, we can work towards a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world for all.