A new study by a firm in the UK looks at municipal waste in various countries, and the results are disparaging. The report looks at many aspects of municipal waste, including how much is produced per capita, how appropriately it is disposed of, and where it goes.
When it comes to waste per capita, the study found that Canadians are one of the biggest polluters in the world, according to LaPresse.
Canada produces about 777 k.g. of waste per capita every year. This places us behind Bahrain (906.7 k.g. per person) and Comoros (813.3 k.g. per person).
This places Canada right in front of the US, which produces 773 k.g. of waste per capita per year.
However, the issue gets a little bit more complicated than that. Though Canada produces more waste per capita than the U.S, the latter has a much larger population.
This means that, though the U.S. only has 4% of the global population, it produces almost 12% of global municipal waste. Canada, with a smaller population, seems much better in comparison.
The report does not only want to point fingers at the US. It states that "highly developed European and North American countries are disproportionately responsible for the highest levels of waste generation."
According to the reports, "the highest risk countries in the Waste Generation Index feature the US, the Netherlands, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and Australia."
Note that countries with large populations like China and India produce less waste than their percentage of the global population.
The report does mention that these countries are less likely to recycle. Canada does get a nod of approval for its recycling facilities and the fact that it is set to implement legislation that will ban plastic.
Nevertheless, globally, a lot still needs to be done, as "over 2.1 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated globally each year – enough to fill 822,000 Olympic-size swimming pools."
Most of this waste is disposed of improperly, and only 16% of it is recycled.