The International Day of Zero Waste is being observed for the first today on March 30 and jointly facilitated by UNEP and UN-Habitat, aims to raise awareness of the importance of responsible consumption and production practices and urban waste management. The day calls for rethinking humanity’s waste-related practices and for embracing a circular economy, which means reducing resource use and emissions to the environment throughout all stages of a product’s life cycle. This is considered key to addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.
“Zero Waste Day is about finding innovative solutions to the scourge that is waste and moving towards a more sustainable future that protects the environment and improves human health,” says Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director of the Industry and Economy division at UNEP. “To achieve this, governments must ensure that less waste is produced through products that stay in the economy, and then, where waste is produced, it is turned into a resource that can be fed back into the economy. Governments can create the enabling environment for responsible production and consumption patterns to advance the shift towards a circular economy.”
“Zero Waste Day is an opportunity to rethink our consumption style, refuse wastefulness, find values for reuse and recycle materials,” says Andre Dzikus, Chief of Urban Basic Services of UN-Habitat. “Let us think how we and our society can be waste-wise on this day.”