#ISWAatIFAT: Main Stage Spotlight

May 22, 2024 | IFAT, ISWA blog, ISWA news, YPG

Jose Uribe

Jose Uribe

Operations Director

ISWA took to the Orange Stage at IFAT, with special sessions featuring champions of the association and waste management sector.

Global Waste Management Outlook 2024

This recent report on state of the waste sector was a collaboration between ISWA and the UNEP, meant to be a follow up on the seminal GWMO from 2015 that could give an update on the developments of the sector and what the future holds depending on how the world reacts to the challenges it faces now. ISWA experts were on the panel to present and discuss the conclusions and consequences of the findings.

President Carlos Silva Filho made it clear that business as usual is no longer tenable, and even the waste under control scenarios from recent decades that focused on just safe treatment storage will not be enough to deal with the growing volume of waste as the global south continues to industrialize and grow. ISWA vice president Arne Ragossnig elaborated on the need to remain fact-based when searching for and selecting appropriate technologies that fit the context and overall strategy, dogmatic approaches are not compatible with the complex and nuanced challenges that we face in this regard.

ISWA national member representative Ana Loureiro talked about the importance of inclusivity in any transitions plans so that the current informal sector, which in many places still represents more than half of all waste management activities, is also integrated effectively into the new systems. ISWA Technical director Aditi Ramola spoke about her experiences in helping to develop policies and implement new systems to help communities in the global south to improve their waste management functions, and how there are opportunities to speed up the evolution of waste management but not to skip steps – there must be more solidarity between the global north and south in recognition that waste does not have boundaries and the environment will always affect the whole world.

Treaty to Ban Plastic Pollution

Plastics are an essential part of our lives; they are valuable products that have enabled our modern existence and standard of living. Just like any other material, they must be applied in the appropriate contexts and in the correct way – unmoderated use of plastics leads to excessive waste, pollution, and contamination. In recognition of the special challenge that plastics pose in the triple planetary threat, a global treaty is being negotiated to curb the growing problem that unbridled use of plastics has become.  ISWA was on the stage for International Recycling Day to highlight the importance of this issue and the role that the association plays as a representative of the industry and an adviser on waste management issues to different parties in the negotiation process. The message of ISWA President Carlos Silva is clear – plastics cannot be dealt with by themselves, all possible downstream solutions must include the further development of infrastructure and capacities to provide sustainable waste management to all who still lack in this basic right to a clean environment. ISWA technical director Aditi Ramola emphasized the need to tackle open dumping and burning of waste, which still accounts for 38% of all waste, and the implications for ISWA to help with capacity building at all levels to help plan policies, design processes and implement appropriate solutions.  For upstream measures, Jose Uribe explained how a functioning circular loop must ensure better connections between the waste and resources sector to manufacturers; enabling to go from recyclable designs to effectively recycled products.

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