Garbage and Megatrends by Christian Manrique


New post by Christian Manrique

Christian Manrique analyses current megatrends in this new post on massive waste generation. The world produces currently 3.5 million tons a day of solid waste and it is expected to rise up to 11 million tons a day by end of the century.

Before any solution is tackled, the existing problem must be confronted. Raising awareness on this phenomenon becomes essential. It is the way to show its magnitude and the immediate need for efficient solutions and policies in order to eliminate it, beyond any palliative measures.

As Christian Manrique brings up, according to the World Bank the key points that should be taken into account dealing with garbage, at short, middle and long term, are not positive. World population increases annually by 2%. By 2025 world population will rise up to 8 billion inhabitants. By 2050 it will grow over 9 billion people and by 2100 it will go beyond 11 billion. These data become essential. Humans and the current production system are transforming the world on waste generation.

Currently the planet generates 3.5 million tons a day of solid waste. By the year 2025, World Bank expects this amount will rise up to 6 million tons and by 2100 11 million tons a day will be generated. Taken separately, with no context, these figures only show an end of the century of apocalyptic proportions. Before going any further every aspect must be contextualized, as Christian Manrique emphasises.

Big conurbations will play a major role. 66% of the growth mentioned on the previous paragraph will take place in the cities of the developed world, which represent 6 billion people.

It must be pointed out that more than 30% of world population within developed areas will be 60 or older.

New global order

By the year 2050, 50% of world population will be middle class. How they will understand the global productive, economic and social context and its outcome could be encouraging. Collaborative economy, instead of competitive economy, will be a normal trend among them. This element could be of great advantage. From there climate change’s economic, social and environmental effects shall be managed.

Another essential trend underlines that by 2050 the volume of consumed resources will grow up to 140 billion tons, triplicating the current amount.

Christian Manrique also foresees that the new industrial revolution, which has brought the unstoppable rise of technology, will move towards a deep new balance, turning into a new global order.

One of the biggest challenges will be produced by taking all these factors into account. Water, power and waste will become key issues for economies and Governments.


The most advanced economies and international organizations should set up immediately programs and goals to come up with answers against natural habitats degradation and overpopulation consequences.

UN has launched its fight to accomplish zero waste, recycling and re-utilisation. OECD has engaged on circular economy and zero waste strategies. On the other hand, EU has set up the Green Growth Strategy. It establishes that by the year 2020 all State members shall by recycling 50% of its waste and only 35% should go to landfills. By 2035 percentages would have increased: 65% recycling and only 10% landfill.

The Paris Agreement has committed to diminish in 2 Celsius degrees global warmth. In the United States, San Francisco and New York have adopted Zero Waste programs.

However, citizenship awareness and commitment becomes useless if legislative powers do not establish a normative frame to come up with a real and efficient change.

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