Article by Laura Brothers, AlterNet
The average household produces more than a ton of waste every year—and it’s during the festive period that we waste the most, according to E-Card firm Eco2 Greetings.
In fact, the company said that over Christmas we create 30% more waste than usual. Everything from cards and envelopes, wrapping paper, boxes from biscuits and chocolates, shopping bags, wine bottles and toy packaging—on average, each household will chuck out an extra five bags of waste over Christmas, adding up to 736,571 tons of refuse every year.
Overall, recycling rates are increasing, but so are populations. Countries around the world are generating large amounts of waste as their populations grow and their economies expand.
The amount of waste generated by urban residents in 2016 is estimated to have doubled to 1.2 kilograms per capita per day from 0.64 kilograms per capita per day 10 years ago. On a yearly basis, this equates to 1.3 billion tons per year in 2016, versus about 680 million tons per year a decade ago.
The firm highlighted a World Bank report stating that the amount of urban waste being produced is growing faster than the rate of urbanization. In fact, by 2025 there will be 1.4 billion more people living in cities worldwide, with each person producing an average of 1.42kg of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day—more than double the current average of 0.64kg per day.
Annual worldwide urban waste is estimated to more than triple, from 0.68 to 2.2 billion tons per year.
The top producers of waste are said to be small and island nations including:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Kitts and Nevis
- Sri Lanka
According to Eco2 Greetings, in places such as Antigua, Barbados and St. Kitts, a large majority of waste is accumulated due to tourism. It added that of these countries do not have the necessary infrastructure for proper sanitation and waste removal.
The top producers in the developed world were said to be:
- New Zealand
- United States