Rising Waste Generation Posing a Threat to the Environment
Globally, the amount of waste generated is growing. According to the World Bank, in 2016, cities generated 2.01 billion tons of solid waste, amounting to a footprint of 0.74 kilograms per person per day. With rapid population growth and urbanization, annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70% to 3.40 billion tons in 2050. With waste generation comes the issue of waste management. When comparing countries of varying levels of development, residents in developing countries suffer the most from unsustainably managed waste. In low-income countries, more than 90% of waste is disposed in unregulated dumps or openly burned, leading to serious health, safety, and environmental consequences. The poor management of waste creates an environment where diseases can manifest, and also negatively affects the climate through methane generation. In 2016, there was an estimated 1.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-equivalent) greenhouse gas emissions generated from solid waste management.
Within the solid waste group, food and plastic waste stand ou…
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