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Global waste generation per person outlook by region 2050

It is projected that North America and Europe will remain the largest per capita waste generators in the world throughout the next decades. In 2050, North Americans are projected to generate 2.5 kilograms of waste per day per capita, in comparison to 0.63 kilograms of waste per capita by those living in sub-Saharan Africa. The economic development of countries from low-income to higher levels also tends to also develop waste management systems. However, urbanization also tends to increase the generation of waste, additionally, rapid urbanization may also make waste collection more difficult as well as finding land for disposal. Waste collection and disposal services can be quite expensive and may often be one of the highest budget items for governments in low-income countries. Waste operations may often have to compete in consideration with other essential priorities such as clean water, energy, and education.

Importance of proper waste management

Proper solid waste management is crucial to the livelihoods of all communities around the world, impacting daily health, productivity, and cleanliness. Poorly managed waste streams can easily clog drains and cause flooding, transmit diseases, harm economic development, increase respiratory problems through burning waste, and contaminate terrestrial and marine environments, most visible through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that swirls around some 1.6 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean.

Projection of waste generation per capita worldwide in 2050, by region

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Release date

September 2018



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Global waste generation"

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