International day of zero waste: Action to reduce pollution


TN&MTOn December 14, 2022, the UN General Assembly officially recognized the importance of zero waste initiatives and declared March 30 as International Zero Waste Day, which will be celebrated starting in 2023.

International Day of Zero Waste aims to draw the world's attention to the impacts of this waste and encourage global action at all levels to reduce pollution and waste. The message of this Day is to call on all stakeholders, including the Government, businesses, academia, communities, women and youth,... to participate in activities to raise awareness about zero-waste initiatives.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres

According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, the waste crisis is weakening the Earth's ability to sustain life. Waste costs the global economy billions of dollars each year.

According to the UN Environment Program, 2.24 billion tons of urban solid waste are produced annually, of which only 55% are processed at waste management facilities. This amount might rise to 3.88 billion tons annually by 2050, which would increase greenhouse gas emissions in metropolitan areas and result in a decline in biodiversity. Approximately 931 million tons of food are wasted each year, and by 2040, 37 million tons of plastic waste will be dumped into the ocean annually.

Promoting zero-waste initiatives can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal No. 11 on building cities and inclusive, safe, flexible, and sustainable residential areas and Sustainable Development Goal No. 12 on ensuring sustainable production and consumption.

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Inger Andersen emphasized: “We need to act now. We have the technical expertise and drive to innovate. We have the knowledge – both scientific and indigenous knowledge – to find solutions to the waste crisis.

It is predicted that by 2040, about 37 million tons of plastic waste will be dumped into the ocean

International Zero Waste Day 2023 is a real opportunity to build on local, regional and national initiatives to foster environmentally friendly waste management and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to Mrs. Le Thi Minh Thoa, Minister Counselor, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, sustainable waste management plays a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal No. 12 on sustainable production and consumption and Goal No. 13 on responding to climate change.

Mrs. Le Thi Minh Thoa emphasized that Vietnam is clearly aware that zero waste is a solution to cope with climate change and has adopted the National Action Plan on implementing a circular economy with the goal of reducing deflation, which emits 15% of greenhouse gases per total national income and reuses, recycles, and processes 85% of plastic waste and reduces 50% of plastic waste entering seas and oceans. With the intention of reducing it by 75% by 2030, Vietnam also prepared a National Action Program on Ocean Plastic Waste Management.

 “To achieve “zero waste”, it is necessary to have a comprehensive, whole-of-society approach with the participation of all segments of society, raising awareness of producers and consumers about waste issues, encourage citizen to build an environmentally friendly lifestyle."

Huy The


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