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SDG Policy Brief

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Lifecycle Approaches to Waste SDG Policy Brief UN Environment


The Sustainable Development Goals Policy Briefs highlight a hotspot of environmental change. The evidence provided builds on scientific data and information hosted on the online platform Environment Live and is complemented by stories from around the world. Readers are invited to explore the numerous clickable links throughout the Brief.

Waste is generated at a massive and growing rate but is not always managed appropriately, leading to greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and health hazards. With ongoing population growth and rapid urbanization, the optimization of waste systems is critical. Fortunately, this presents a tremendous opportunity to recover valuable resources and create employment, while mitigating these negative impacts.

UN Environment is the Custodian Agency for several key indicators related to waste: Goal 12: “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Reclaiming the value of waste through innovative lifecycle approaches

Reclaiming the value of waste through innovative lifecycle approaches #BeatPlasticPollution Goal Three Goal Nine Goal Eight Goal Eleven Goal Twelve Goal Six Goal Fourteen Goal Thirteen Goal Fifteen
Page two Domestic Material Comsumption per capita Global Plastic production UNEP State of Plastics 2018 Jambeck et al. 2015 Material Footprint (Biomass) per capita Material Footprint (fossil fuels) per capita Material Footprint (Non-metallic minerals) per capita Material Footprint (Metal ores) per capita Global Food Losses and Food Waste 2011 FAO Food wastage footprint 2013 UNEP Towards a Green Economy 2011 UNEP Towards a Green Economy 2011 Material Footprint (Total) per capita Haas et al. 2015 UNU E-waste Monitor 2017 UNU E-waste Monitor 2017 IRP (2018) (In Press). Re-defining Value Mortality rate - unintentional poisonings (per 100,000 population) WHO Mortality Estimates UNEP/UNITAR 2013 FAO 2013 BRS Secretariat WHO UNU 2018 BRS 2018 Basel Convention African Clean Cities Platform Save Food Use of single-use plastic bags SDGs Goal Three Goal Eleven Goal Twelve

Inititatives on the ground