General Article Agenda 21 and waste management

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling
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Agenda 21 requires governments, industry and the public to make efforts to reduce the amount of waste by:

  • encouraging recycling;
  • reducing wasteful packaging of products;
  • introducing products that are more environmentally sound.

At the moment, the amount of waste produced in the developed world is not sustainable. For example, 99% of the materials used to make goods in the USA becomes waste within six weeks of sale, including the goods themselves. Most waste is buried underground in landfill sites; in the UK only around 7% of household waste is recycled.

It is estimated that every year in the UK each person throws out the equivalent of:

  • Over 100 glass bottles;
  • 70 plastic bottles;
  • 300 cans;
  • 150 newspapers and magazines;
  • Over 60 kg of food scraps and kitchen waste.

All of these types of waste can be easily recycled, which saves resources and energy.

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