Waste management laws govern the transport, treatment, storage and disposal of all waste including municipal solid waste, hazardous waste and nuclear waste, among many other types
Waste laws are generally designed to minimize or eliminate the uncontrolled dispersal of waste materials into the environment in a manner that may cause ecological or biological harm, and include laws designed to reduce the generation of waste and promote or mandate waste recycling. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing waste types and mandating transport, treatment, storage, and disposal practices.
Recent legislation is also designed to stimulate circular economy. A Circular Economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.
United Nations adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030.
Goal No 12 “Sustainable consumption and production” is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. One of the targets for this goal is to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030.
As an example, The European Commission has adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs. The revised legislative proposal on waste sets clear targets for reduction of waste and establishes an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling.