The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has called for global action on the waste problem to end pollution, restore social justice and transform the world’s economy.
World leaders, civil society organisations and business representatives will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, to address the environmental, social and economic consequences of pollution and resource waste.
The EEB is the largest network of European environmental NGOs.
According to the 12th UN Sustainable Development Goal, the wasteful production and consumption of resources is leading to increasing air, soil and ocean pollution.
The EEB urged UN leaders to implement binding measures to transition to a plastic-free society and circular economy, where waste is prevented, and products reused or recycled for the benefit of all.
EEB President Jouni Nissinen said: “We need to start thinking of waste prevention as an economic opportunity to trigger local jobs and savings for citizens and businesses.”
Piotr Barczak, waste policy officer at the EEB, said: “From the north to the south of the world, policy makers need to work alongside local communities to put an end to waste dumping, burying and burning.
“Incineration and landfilling are false solutions to the waste problem. Not only are they a waste of valuable resources and taxpayers’ money, they are also a source of pollution and hazard.
“Investments should be redirected towards more community-based solutions such as separate collection of waste, reuse and recycling facilities.”
European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella is also expected to discuss his plan for a circular economy in Europe, including the much-awaited EU Plastics Strategy that is being drafted.