The crucial role of circular waste management systems in cutting waste leakage into aquatic environments

Gomez Sanabria, A. ORCID: & Lindl, F. (2024). The crucial role of circular waste management systems in cutting waste leakage into aquatic environments. Nature Communications 15 (1) e5443. 10.1038/s41467-024-49555-9.

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Waste leakage has become a major global concern owing to the negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health. We combine spatial analysis with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways to project future waste leakage under current conditions and develop mitigation strategies up to 2040. Here we show that the majority (70%) of potential leakage of municipal solid waste into aquatic environments occurs in China, South Asia, Africa, and India. We show the need for the adoption of active mitigation strategies, in particular circular waste management systems, that could stop waste from entering the aquatic ecosystems in the first place. However, even in a scenario representing a sustainable world in which technical, social, and financial barriers are overcome and public awareness and participation to rapidly increase waste collection rates, reduce, reuse and recycling waste exist, it would be impossible to entirely eliminate waste leakage before 2030, failing to meet the waste-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2024 08:00
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 08:00

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