Global waste management outlook 2024

With municipal waste set to rise by two thirds and its costs to almost double within a generation, only a drastic reduction in waste generation will secure a liveable and affordable future, according to this new report by the UNEP. 

In response to Resolution 2/7 from the second session (UNEP/EA.2/RES.7) of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and reaffirmed in Resolution 4/7 from its fourth session (UNEP/EA.4/RES.7), the Global Waste Management Outlook offers an updated assessment of global waste management and an analysis of data concerning municipal solid waste management worldwide. Jointly published with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the report provides an update on global waste generation and the cost of waste and its management since 2018. The analysis uses life cycle assessments to explore what the world could gain or lose through continuing business-as-usual, adopting halfway measures, or committing fully to zero waste and circular economy societies. The report also evaluates three potential scenarios of municipal waste generation and management, examining their impacts on society, the environment, and the global economy. Furthermore, it presents potential strategies for waste reduction and enhanced management, following the waste hierarchy, to treat all waste materials as valuable resources.