Better waste management can help #Beatpollution

23 Nov 2017 -

UNEP’s Executive Director, with his latest report  asks for a new approach to managing our economies in which waste reduction and management must be prioritized.

Point 21 of the report highlights the direct correlation between municipal solid waste per capita and national income levels – pointing out that unregulated waste dumpsites are complex sources of pollution with dangerous emissions. It is clear from this that the world’s poorest are the most disproportionately and directly affected, but the pollution is reaching us all through our waters and coastal areas and our ecosystems. In fact, more than 9 million people died prematurely worldwide due to pollution according to the Lancet Report.

The UN report cited ISWA’s Roadmap for Closing Waste Dumpsites, which focuses on the world’s 50 largest waste dumpsites which affect the lives of 64million people. The pollution of waste dumpsites undoubtedly damages more people worldwide since they accommodate 40% of the world’s waste – potentially a global health emergency. Dumpsites spread disease and ill-health to the extent that they have more considerable consequences on human health than malaria. If we want to mitigate pollution and avoid these horrific health implications, we have no choice but to close these dumpsites and replace them with sustainable, safe, regional and pragmatic solutions. A representative example of what’s going on in dumpsites can be found in a recent report about Dandora dumpsite, which is located a few km away from UNEP’s headquarter.

Now is the time to work together to #beatpollution and look at sound waste and resource management as a social and economic necessity with a vital role in the satisfaction of basic human health. We cannot simply wait for countries to mature economically, we must demand laws, policies and regulations which control dumpsites and pollution for the good of human health.

ISWA therefore calls on the international community to demand that the closure of unregulated waste dumpsites is an urgent priority. Not just that they are closed, but that well considered regulations and polices are discussed and implemented as a matter of urgency.

The closure of waste dumpsites must play a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, 12 and 3.9:

• Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
• Goal 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

Let’s work together to #closedumpsites and #beatpollution

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