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The Global State of Waste Management


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Katharina Buchholz


The safe management of household and commercial solid waste is not yet widespread in many nations in Asia and Africa. The latter continent receives the worst marks, with 15 countries rated at no more than 10 out of 100 points on the Yale Environmental Performance Index waste management subranking. Four Asian nations score equally poorly - Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. South Asian nations as well as Cambodia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Laos only rank a little bit higher, however.


The World Bank assumes that waste generation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will grow fastest until 2050 due to the regions' high populations that are still in the process of gaining access to modern consumer markets. While exhibiting slower growth, East Asia-Pacific is already the region generating the most waste today and will remain in this position in the future. Both developments point to increased challenges for safe waste management in the years to come.


According to Yale, solid waste produces 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally while also being a source of contamination and pollution of soil, water, air and food through leaching, burning and vermin when managed poorly. As it is often reaching oceans, plastic waste can be a serious threat to a wide array of marine life. The report concludes that waste management has not kept pace with growing waste generation in countries of all income levels.


The most poorly rated nations in the Americas are Haiti and Venezuela, while in Europe, Albania and Montenegro are the least successful at waste management. Developed Asian countries Singapore and South Korea meanwhile are among the top 10 best-rated nations together with Scandinavian and German-speaking nations as well as Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. Australia comes in rank 12 while the United Kingdom is ranked 26th and the United States 46th.


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