Urban October: Perceptions and Systems of Urban Waste

Changing behaviors towards circularity beyond awareness campaigns

Wed, Oct 11 2023
Europe/Berlin: 11:00 - 11:45am


Per year, the global population generates over 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste, with 45 percent of it currently lacking proper management in controlled facilities. This figure is projected to soar to nearly 4 billion tons by 2050 (UNEP). Due to rapid urbanization, lack of technical and financial capacity or low policy priority many urban areas face challenges to manage waste properly and prevent its generation. It differs depending on the local context and is a complex and multifaceted process that involves various stakeholders and responsibilities at different levels of government, within the private sector and communities. Moving towards a circular economy is seen as a way to leave the linear idea of waste behind and serve as a solution to overcome these issues.

Behavioral change is an integral aspect of the transition to a circular economy. It empowers individuals, businesses, and governments to adopt practices that prioritize resource conservation, waste reduction, and sustainable consumption, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and resilient economic model. Yet, in terms of urban/municipal waste public debates are often focused on individual households, end consumers, how to make them separate waste better, avoid or produce less waste and make smarter or more circular choices, educate them or raise awareness trough campaigns, while the majority of waste has a commercial nature.  

In this webinar perceptions and systems of urban waste and its prevention through circular approaches will be addressed on different levels - individual/ societal, municipal, economical/commercial and governmental, asking the questions: How can behavioral aspects support a circular economy transition beyond awareness campaigns? What are methods that work? How should responsibilities be defined?

This webinar will present lessons learned from the global project “Environmental protection worldwide” (BMUV), Zero Waste Europe and integrate voices from academia.  

Participants will have the chance to exchange within a group discussion.



If you are interested to participate, please contact katharina.lange@giz.de.

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