NAIROBI, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The growing crisis of waste pollution should be tackled as a matter of urgency in order to realize a healthier, more prosperous and greener future for humanity, the UN said Thursday as the world marked the first International Day of Zero Waste.
Currently, more than 2 billion tons of municipal waste is generated annually across the globe while 45 percent is mismanaged, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
In the absence of urgent actions, solid waste including plastics, debris from mining and construction sites, electronics and food dumped into the planet could rise to almost 4 billion tons by 2050, with the poor bearing the brunt, said the UN.
The International Day of Zero Waste, which is jointly facilitated by UNEP and UN-Habitat, was established through a UN General Assembly resolution. It calls upon key stakeholders like governments, industry, academia and civil society to become proactive in responding to the waste crisis that bodes ill for the health of communities and ecosystems.
Inger Andersen, the UNEP's executive director, stressed that harnessing technical expertise, innovation and indigenous knowledge will be key to tackling the waste crisis.
In addition, Andersen observed that the inaugural International Day of Zero Waste provided an opportunity to revitalize local, regional and national interventions aimed at promoting ecologically sound waste management. ■