What a Waste 2.0 - A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050

Solid waste management affects everyone; however, those most affected by the negative impacts of poorly managed waste are largely society’s most vulnerable—losing their lives and homes from landslides of waste dumps, working in unsafe waste-picking conditions, and suffering profound health repercussions.

Wolrd Bank Group, Urban Development Series

Too often, the environment also pays a high price. In 2016, the world generated 242 million tonnes of plastic waste—12 percent of all municipal solid waste. Plastic waste is choking our oceans, yet our consumption of plastics is only increasing. Cities and countries are rapidly developing without adequate systems in place to manage the changing waste composition of citizens.

Meanwhile, an estimated 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide–equivalent (CO2-equivalent) greenhouse gas emissions were generated from solid waste management in 2016. This is about 5 percent of global emissions. Without improvements in the sector, solid waste–related emissions are anticipated to increase to 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2050. More than 80 countries committed to reduce emissions through the historic 2017 Paris Agreement—improving waste management is one way of contributing to this effort.
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