UN chief highlights perils of 2 bn tonnes of annual waste on International Day of Zero Waste


António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has highlighted the issue of waste management in his message on the occasion of International Day of Zero Waste 2024, which will be observed tomorrow, 30th March.
“Our planet is drowning under a torrent of trash. Every year, humanity produces more than 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. Rotting food, plastic bottles, chemical-laced electronics and much more is tossed away without regard for our water, land and air,” he pointed.
As trash decays, Guterres noted, it spews planet-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, poisons the water and soil, and inflicts illness, disease and even death among people around the world.
“Overconsumption is killing us. Humanity needs an intervention,” the Secretary-General stressed.
Since last year, the Advisory Board on Zero Waste has been bringing partners together around this critical issue and what needs to be done to make zero waste a reality, he said.
The UN chief suggested that businesses must rethink their products to minimise wasteful packaging and maximize longevity and lifecycle.
“Consumers must think twice about the goods and products they purchase, and recycle or reuse wherever possible.”
He called upon governments to build circular economies that address resource depletion and management, and invest in modern waste-management programmes anchored in reuse, remanufacturing, recovery and waste prevention.
“And the global community must stand as one and work towards achieving a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution,” Guterres urged.
“On this Zero Waste Day, let us pledge to end the destructive cycle of waste, once and for all,” he concluded.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend