Meeting of Member States and experts on waste and health

4-5 October 2016, Bonn, Germany

The meeting aims to further describe the health impacts of waste in Europe building on previous WHO consultations and their implications for sustainability, and to identify possible health-friendly policy orientations, to be proposed for consideration at the 2017 Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health.

It is gathering representatives from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia and Tajikistan, as well as waste researchers, advisors, and  other experts in waste, toxicology, hygiene and environmental health.

Main objectives

  • Update the evidence on health impact of landfilling, informal waste disposal activities and impact of special waste flows such as e-waste.
  • Explore consensus on priority action to abate peaks of human exposure to waste-related hazards, promote sustainability and circular economy (while preventing the recycling of toxic agents).
  • Formulate viable policy goals and objectives for Member States consideration within the European Environment and Health Process, and provide health arguments for further implementation of the European Union waste hierarchy, and ways of including  non-EU Member States.

Background

Management of waste is a demanding and challenging undertaking in all European countries, with important implications for human health and well-being, environmental preservation, sustainability and economy. Under the Sustainable Development Goal 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, waste is the object of two targets. In light of its relevance for cities and circular economy, waste was included among the topics on which the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health of 2017 will focus.