Waste Not, Want Not: UNITAR Promotes Waste Reduction and Recycling Strategies


Waste reduction and recycling are crucial aspects of sustainable development, and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) initiative, "Waste Not, Want Not," highlights the importance of these practices in achieving environmental and socio-economic goals. UNITAR, the United Nations Office for Project Services, promotes waste reduction and recycling strategies through various projects and partnerships.

Waste Reduction Strategies

UNITAR advocates for the implementation of comprehensive waste reduction strategies that involve:

  • Prevention: Reducing the amount of waste generated through measures such as lifestyle changes, product design modifications, and production optimization.
  • Reuse: Encouraging the reuse of materials in new products or applications.
  • Repair: Repairing items instead of discarding them.
  • Recycling: Establishing robust recycling infrastructure and processes for various materials like plastic, paper, glass, and metals.

Recycling Strategies

UNITAR promotes innovative recycling technologies and practices, including:

  • Improved sorting and collection: Implementing efficient sorting systems at the source and centralized collection points.
  • Advanced recycling plants: Investing in technologies that allow for the separation and processing of different materials.
  • Chemical recycling: Developing methods to extract valuable materials from electronic waste and batteries.

Supporting Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

UNITAR supports the development and implementation of effective waste reduction and recycling policies and regulations at local and national levels. This includes:

  • Developing national waste reduction and recycling strategies.
  • Establishing extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes.
  • Implementing deposit-refund systems for beverages.

Partnership and Collaboration

UNITAR encourages partnerships and collaboration among governments, the private sector, and civil society to enhance waste reduction and recycling outcomes. This includes:

  • Public-private partnerships for investment in infrastructure and technology.
  • Stakeholder engagement and participation in decision-making processes.
  • Knowledge-sharing and capacity building for stakeholders.


Waste reduction and recycling are key elements of sustainable waste management. UNITAR’s "Waste Not, Want Not" initiative promotes innovative solutions and supports countries in implementing effective waste reduction and recycling strategies. By addressing the waste challenge, we can create a more sustainable future for generations to come.


1. What is the driving force behind Waste Not, Want Not?

The initiative recognizes the urgent need to address the environmental and socio-economic impacts of waste through sustainable waste management practices.

2. What are some specific examples of UNITAR’s waste reduction and recycling projects?

UNITAR has implemented numerous projects in various countries to promote these practices, such as waste collection campaigns, recycling plant installations, and awareness-raising workshops.

3. How can individuals contribute to waste reduction and recycling?

Individuals can reduce waste through lifestyle changes, reuse and repair items, recycle responsibly, and advocate for sustainable waste management practices.


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