2022 too short, too far: Initial steps taken on tackling waste; long way to go still

Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2022

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 01 January 2023

The year 2022 saw steps being taken to tackle the menace of waste — produced by humans in all forms — plaguing the planet. But the world still has a long way to go before it can put efficiently dispose its waste. Here is a selection of stories by Down To Earth on some of the major developments in the waste sector in 2022 across India and abroad.

A warning for Delhi was sounded. If the current trend of dumping fresh waste continues, Delhi will have to deal with an additional 1 crore tonnes of waste in another 5 years, along with the existing 2.8 crore tonnes, wrote Richa Singh from the Centre for Science and Environment. 

Read more: Time to address Delhi’s rising challenge of legacy waste: If not now, when?

Down To Earth’s reporters uncovered how the collection and recycling processes for polyester in Panipat and Delhi were informal to a large extent, leading to lethal plastic pollution.

Read more: Polyester recycling: Sector largely informal; home furnishing makers in Panipat, Delhi found flouting norms

Hoarding of small, unused, dead or broken plug-in and battery-operated products was the focus of this year’s 5th annual International E-Waste Day October 14. One out of every six electronic products in an average European household is hoarded, a survey found.

Read more: International E-Waste Day: Over 5 billion phones will become waste this year

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in an order, slapped a compensation of Rs 3,800 crore on the Telangana government for its failure in the management of solid waste and sewage. This is the biggest fine ever imposed by the NGT for waste disposal.

Read more: NGT’s Rs 3,800 crore fine on Telangana is the biggest one yet over waste disposal

Most Indian villages do not have any waste management infrastructure, a study released by non-profit Pratham Education Foundation September 18, 2022, said.

Read more: Most Indian villages do not have any waste management infrastructure: Study

India’s ban on select single-use plastic items came into effect from July 1, 2022. But several items that fell within Centre’s definition of single-use plastic were not included.

Read more: India’s ban on select single-use plastic items: A start but still a long way from blanket ban

Chhattisgarh’s plan to purchase cow dung to boost the rural economy, ensure clean villages and solve its stray cattle problem saw initial success, but things did not go as per plan.

Read more: Ground report: How is Chhattisgarh’s ‘dung deal’ working

The world passed 14 resolutions at the resumed session of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly, held in Nairobi, Kenya, between February 28 and March 2, 2022.

Read more: Plastic endgame: Did UNEA 5.2 start a new era

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