Waste management during COVID-19: From crisis to opportunity

22 Dec 2020
13:00 - 14:30, GMT

COVID-19 created an unprecedented challenge to waste management across the globe. As the number of patients needing hospital-based healthcare exploded, breaching the capacity of even developed economies, it caused similar challenges in waste management infrastructure too. Managing massive healthcare waste became a challenge for both developed and developing countries.

Pandemic also affected non-healthcare waste management too. Efforts to control and minimize plastic received a setback and many countries had to relax their regulations on plastic only to meet the immediate demand for increased home deliveries of food and provisions. Waste recycling in the informal sector came almost to a halt due to fears and concerns about infection. Lockdown induced mobility restrictions and economic downturn also impacted the operations of waste management.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) developed a series of guidance notes to assist Member States to deal with waste management issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, UNEP also worked in partnership with the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (Swedish MSB) to assist some Member States in assessing the situation regarding waste management in those countries.

UNEP and MSB experts will be delivering a webinar on the experiences learned from around the world in the last six months in the domain of waste management. Those participating in the webinar will also be given access to additional reference materials and guidance.