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International Day of Zero Waste 2024

March 30 , 8:00 am 5:00 pm EDT

The International Day of Zero Waste highlights both the importance of bolstering waste management globally and the need to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns.  

Every year, humanity generates between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. Some 2.7 billion people lack access to waste collection, 2 billion of whom live in rural areas. Waste pollution significantly threatens human well-being, economic prosperity, and the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution. Without urgent action, annual municipal solid waste generation will hit 3.8 billion tonnes by 2050. 

Millions worldwide observed the inaugural International Day of Zero Waste in 2023, raising awareness of national, subnational, regional, and local zero-waste initiatives and their contribution to achieving sustainable development.

Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimize and prevent waste generation. To #BeatWastePollution, we must bolster waste management while improving resource recovery and substantially reducing waste generation. Prevention, reduction, reuse, repurposing and recycling are critical to this endeavour.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) facilitate the observance of the Day. All Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to implement zero-waste initiatives at local, regional, subnational and national levels.

Find an overview, events, and resources on the UN Environment Programme website.

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