UN chief calls for global actions to combat waste crisis

UN chief calls for global actions to combat waste crisis

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for worldwide efforts to tackle the waste crisis, reported Xinhua.

In a video message for the International Day of Zero Waste, which falls on March 30 annually, the UN chief highlighted the perilous state of the planet.

“Our planet is drowning under a torrent of trash,“ Guterres said, painting a dire picture of the environmental degradation caused by humanity’s overconsumption and waste production. With “more than two billion tonnes of municipal solid waste” produced every year, the consequences are devastating for the earth’s climate, ecosystems and human health.

He emphasised the urgency of addressing overconsumption, stating “overconsumption is killing us. Humanity needs an intervention”.

Guterres praised the efforts of the Advisory Board on Zero Waste for its role in uniting various stakeholders around the mission of achieving zero waste.

To combat this crisis, the top UN official outlined a multifaceted approach.

“Businesses must rethink their products to minimise wasteful packaging and maximise longevity and lifecycle,“ he said, urging a shift towards sustainable production practices. Consumers are also called upon to “think twice about the goods and products they purchase, and recycle or reuse wherever possible”.

Guterres underscored the importance of government action in fostering circular economies that prioritise “reuse, remanufacturing, recovery and waste prevention”.

He pointed out the need for modern waste-management programmes that can significantly mitigate the impact of resource depletion.

“On this Zero Waste Day, let’s pledge to end the destructive cycle of waste, once and for all,“ said Guterres, urging global citizens to commit to sustainable practices that protect the planet for future generations.

On Dec 14, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution at its 77th session to proclaim March 30 as International Day of Zero Waste to be observed annually. – Bernama, Xinhua


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