By 2050, municipal solid waste generation is projected to almost double, along with its negative impacts on the climate, biodiversity and human health.

Analysis for the Global Waste Management Outlook 2024, published jointly between UNEP and ISWA, revealed that much of the cost of waste remains hidden. While society spends US$ 252 billion per year on waste services, the externalities of waste actually cost society US$ 361 billion. Without urgent change to the way we take, make and dispose of, those costs will soar to a staggering US$ 640 billion per year.

Modelling of potential scenarios found that half-hearted measures to prevent waste and recycle more will not be sufficient to avoid spiralling costs. The report shows that only a circular economy model, where waste generation and economic growth are decoupled by adopting waste avoidance, sustainable business practices, and full waste management, can reduce the negative impacts of waste below 2020 levels.

This discussion, featuring the Technical Director of ISWA, Aditi Ramola, President of ISWA, Carlos Silva Filho, and Lead Author of the report, Zoë Lenkiewicz, will unpack the important findings and discuss the suggested actions for multinational development banks, national governments, municipalities, producers and retailers, the waste management sector, and all of us as citizens.

  • Zoë Lenkiewicz

    Waste Management Specialist, Global Waste Lab

    Zoë Lenkiewicz is an award-winning global waste management specialist, supporting the United Nation...
  • Aditi Ramola

    CEO, Ambire Global

    Aditi is the Technical Director at the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) where she manage...
  • Carlos Silva Filho

    President, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)

    Carlos Silva Filho is a Brazilian lawyer specializing in Administrative & Economic Law, who star...

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