For information only – not an official document

26 March 2024

The Secretary-General

Message for the Internatonal Day of Zero Waste 2024

30 March 2024

Our planet is drowning under a torrent of trash.

Every year, humanity produces more than 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. Rotting food, plastic bottles, chemical-laced electronics and much more is tossed away without regard for our water, land and air.

As trash decays, it spews planet-warming greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, poisons our water and soil, and inflicts illness, disease and even death among people around the world.

Overconsumption is killing us. Humanity needs an intervention.

Since last year, the Advisory Board on Zero Waste has been bringing partners together around this critical issue and what needs to be done to make zero waste a reality.

Businesses must rethink their products to minimize wasteful packaging and maximize longevity and lifecycle.

Consumers must think twice about the goods and products they purchase, and recycle or reuse wherever possible.

Governments at all levels must build circular economies that address resource depletion and management, and invest in modern waste-management programmes anchored in reuse, remanufacturing, recovery and waste prevention.

And the global community must stand as one and work towards achieving a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution.

On this Zero Waste Day, let’s pledge to end the destructive cycle of waste, once and for all.

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