Introduction

Welcome to Vital Waste Graphics. This publication has been prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

It is clear that the data used and the definitions employed by the various “sources”, and other crucial factors such as reporting capacity and compliance, varies considerably between organizations and countries. This may lead in some cases to particular graphs and graphics that appear counter-intuitive. In some cases this is simply because some countries have reported accurately even when it contrasts them negatively with countries that have not reported at all or have reported using different definitions.

The document has been produced to raise awareness of the global waste challenge and stimulate debate. It helps to draw attention to the pressing need to improve national reporting capacity and to improve international reporting systems. If it does nothing more than this, it will be a major contribution to an important global challenge.

As data collection systems, definitions and reporting methodologies improve over time, so too will the quality and usefulness of this approach, and the quality of the debate it supports. In the meantime, please enjoy this work, join this debate, and think about how you can contribute to meeting the global waste challenge.

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