Global Waste Management Outlook 2024 : Launch at UNEA6

Feb 28, 2024 | ISWA blog, ISWA news

The new Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) 2024 report was launched at a press event during the UNEA 6 conference in Nairobi, Kenya. ISWA President, Carlos Silva Filho, along with lead author Zoe Lenkiewicz were there alongside Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, His Excellency Mr. Subutay Yüksel, Türkiye’s Ambassador to Kenya and Permanent Representative to UNEP, Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director of the Industry and Economy Division UNEP. The report presents the most up-to-date assessment and shows that keeping the waste management business-as-usual is not an option, as the world is lagging behind many targets. Read on to know more about Carlos Silva’s thoughts on the importance of this report for the future of waste management.
GWMO2024 Available now

We are living on a finite planet, threatened by a triple crisis.

The key messages from the first GWMO (in 2015) and from the publications that followed it are still valid and need to be urgently considered, but the global waste emergency is growing faster than ever. So, continuing business as usual is no longer an option!

Keeping Waste Management as Usual is the rear mirror scenario.

Current figures presented in the report we launch today show that this approach has not and will not work. A paradigm shift is urgent. We need a forward-looking approach to tackle this problem.

The emerging benefits are clear. Improved waste management:

  • prevents shortage of natural resources, protecting biodiversity;
  • tackles pollution on the ground, air and water bodies, enhancing people’s lives, mainly for the most vulnerable ones;
  • mitigates GHG emissions, with a potential to reduce up to 20% of the total anthropogenic emissions, and with a major reduction potential, if SLCFs, such as methane, are considered a priority.

The only solution to solve the waste crisis is transitioning from “waste as garbage” to “waste as a resource”. It’s imperative to adopt circular practices with a holistic approach instead of a siloed management system.

We need to:

  • Dissociate GDP from waste generation (decouple) – through prevention;
  • Major focus on the different waste fractions (organics, recyclables and refuse) – stimulating diversion with the inclusion of waste pickers, micro and small entrepreneurs;
  • Adopt a resource-based approach – prompting circularity;
  • Enable social engagement and awareness, bringing gender equality in decision-making and delivering continued environmental education.
  • To revert the current trend we need a Global Push with joint actions and integration between the many actors and stakeholders, from different backgrounds, under a collective commitment.

It’s time to accelerate the pace to make the necessary shift. The planet we are willing to have tomorrow depends on the decisions we make today.

The 2024 Edition of the Global Waste Management Outlook is a call for action to catalyze a collective effort to support bold and transformative solutions directed to revert the adverse impacts of the current waste management system, towards a cleaner, healthier, and sustainable planet through circular and regenerative waste and resource management systems.

It has been designed to assist policymakers from all over the world, making clear the key decision points that can move the waste management system out of its crisis and help humanity to reach the last mile towards the 2030 Agenda.

On behalf of ISWA, I’m thankful for this cooperation that goes beyond GWMO 2024 and very proud of the work we’ve done so far.

As the leading network promoting professional and sustainable waste management worldwide and the transition to a circular economy, we understand that downstream solutions are no longer the way forward. There’s an immediate need to follow to a new direction and open a direct dialogue with the whole product value chain.

So, for now, let’s read the document, digest its content, take it into our hands and make the change happen, on the ground.

From the International Solid Waste Association, we are ready to answer the call.

Carlos Silva Filho, ISWA President

share this article

ISWA’s latest

All news