What A Waste 2.0 Report
A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050
What A Waste 2.0 Report Authors:
Silpa Kaza, Lisa Yao, Perinaz Bhada-Tata, and Frank Van Woerden With Kremena Ionkova, John Morton, Renan Alberto Poveda, Maria Sarraf, Fuad Malkawi, A.S. Harinath, Farouk Banna, Gyongshim An, Haruka Imoto, and Daniel Levine
What A Waste 2.0 Report – As you will see in this report, the world is on a trajectory where waste generation will drastically outpace population growth by more than double by 2050. Although we are seeing improvements and innovations in solid waste management globally, it is a complex issue and one that we need to take urgent action on.
Society’s Most Vulnerable
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.
The Environment Pays
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.
Carbon Dioxide Generated
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.
Waste Infrastructure & Systems
Solid waste management is a critical—yet often overlooked—piece for planning sustainable, healthy, and inclusive cities and communities for all. However, waste management can be the single highest budget item for local administrations. Municipalities in low-income countries are spending about 20 percent of their budgets on waste management, on average—yet over 90 percent of waste in low-income countries is still openly dumped or burned. As these cities and countries grow rapidly, they desperately need systems to manage their growing waste and mechanisms to pay for the essential services that keep their citizens healthy and their communities clean.
Need For Solutions
We need cities and countries to plan holistically and manage our precious resources better than we have in the past. This report shows what governments around the world have done to manage their solid waste and highlights the latest trends across income levels and geographies. Building on What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management from 2012, this report highlights the overwhelming cost of waste management and the need for solutions.
Think Further Ahead
Using the rich findings and data from this report, I urge stakeholders to think ahead and to integrate waste management into their paradigm of economic growth and innovation. It is the responsibility of every citizen, government, business, city, and country to create the healthy, inclusive, and liveable shared world that we strive for.
What A Waste 2.0 Report – The World Bank
Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez Senior Director Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice The World Bank