Culture and Health webinar series 2019: Waste and wellbeing: cultural waste disposal practices and health

2 April 2019, UN City, Denmark. Webcast at 13:00–14:00 CEST.

Our attitudes towards waste influence what we consume, how we consume it and when we throw it away. These attitudes can be strongly shaped by cultural and local contexts. Waste management and disposal practices encompass varying levels of society and types of waste; from individual food waste to the way chemical waste is managed globally. Such waste practices are a clear environmental determinant of health and well-being. The relationship between waste and health is recognized for example in Sustainable Development Goal 12 (‘Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’) which aims to achieve ‘the environmentally sound management of … all wastes… in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.’

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, with speakers from academia, policymaking and the service industry, this webinar will explore how cultural contexts affect attitudes towards waste management, waste disposal and waste itself. How can individuals, organizations and policy-makers apply understandings of cultural contexts in relation to health and waste to improve health and environmental outcomes? The webinar is linked to a forthcoming publication from the Cultural Contexts of Health team at the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the University of Bonn, examining the evidence on relationships between different cultural beliefs about waste management practices and waste related health and well-being outcomes.