Goal of the Month | August 2020: Responsible Consumption and Production

11 August 2020

Picture by UN Department of Global Communications

Did you know that every year about one third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted, yet food security continues to be a growing global concern, affecting millions of people. Or that the world’s freshwater supply such as rivers and lakes are polluted at a much faster rate than nature can recycle and purify?

COVID-19 lockdowns may have led to a dramatic 5 per cent drop in greenhouse gas emissions but not all measures to contain the pandemic have had a positive impact on the environment, warns the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Global sales of disposable face masks have sky-rocketed, and many more people have turned to online shopping due to social distancing.

What does this mean? Plastic waste created by over-packaged products and take-out meals that are delivered daily to homes are now clogging our landfills and floating in our seas. According to the UN Environment Programme, the costs are staggering – the negative spillover effects from plastic waste on fisheries, tourism and maritime transport, for example, can cost up to an estimated $40 billion each year.

In August, in partnership with the UN Department of Global Communications, we look at the importance of Responsible Consumption and Production as our guide to a less wasteful and more sustainable future.

Originally published by the UN

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