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Global per capita generation of municipal solid waste by select country 2018

The United States and Canada were two of the highest per capita generators of municipal solid waste in the world, throwing out about 2.58 kilograms and 2.33 kilograms per day, respectively. Municipal solid waste is defined as the everyday objects thrown out by the public. Globally, humans generate a wide variety of waste types, including plastic waste, food waste, and electronic waste. In terms of e-scrap, the United Kingdom is one of the largest per capita generators in the world, reaching 21.1 kilograms per inhabitant in 2017.

Perception of waste

Globally, there is a lack of consistency in the way country populations perceive plastic waste and the level of concern they have about waste in the environment. Consumers are also generally divided in the opinion of who should be the most responsible in reducing waste worldwide, whether it be the companies producing and/or selling packaged goods, the government, the consumers, or some combination of all entities. Waste is prevalent in all global economies and the harm that it places on the environment and human health, if not properly disposed of, must be considered in future regulations and policies to allow for sustainable waste management.

Daily municipal solid waste generation per capita worldwide in 2018, by select country

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Release date

August 2018



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Global waste generation"

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