Switzerland will observe the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste on March 30, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2022. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized the importance of zero-waste initiatives by designating March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste, which will be observed annually beginning in 2023. This year’s observance on March 30 aims to emphasize sustainability and encourage decreased waste generation, highlighting the urgent need to address the expanding waste problem and its effects on the environment.
According to the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland generates over 5 million tons of waste each year, with only 60% of that waste being recycled. The country’s waste sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for a significant amount of plastic pollution. Waste management is the 3rd largest methane emitter, significantly contributing to short-term global warming.
To address this issue, Switzerland has implemented a number of zero-waste initiatives, including a comprehensive recycling system and waste reduction campaigns. The country also plans to increase the use of refillable containers in supermarkets and impose a tax on non-recyclable plastics.
In addition to the numerous zero-waste initiatives the nation has put in place, Switzerland is actively promoting sustainable waste management on a global scale. In order to promote sustainable management of mobile phones and computers that are no longer in use, Switzerland has launched a number of initiatives through its participation in the Basel Convention, including the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative and a Partnership on Computing Equipment. These programs have helped with the proper management of mixed plastic waste.
Switzerland also demonstrated its commitment to reducing harmful waste emissions by ratifying the Minamata Convention. The convention seeks to lessen and ultimately eliminate mercury emissions, which are known to have harmful effects on both human health and the environment. Switzerland actively promotes sustainable waste management and lessens the harmful effects of waste on the environment by taking part in these international agreements and conventions. Zero waste initiatives contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The International Day of Zero Waste gives Switzerland and other countries around the world a chance to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable consumption and production patterns. All UN member states, UN organizations, and other relevant parties have been urged to implement zero-waste initiatives at the local, regional, subnational, and national levels.