According to the World Bank, if nothing changes, and quickly, worldwide waste generation could increase by 70% by 2050, from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016 to 3.4 billion tonnes in 2050. The same report puts plastic waste generation at 242 million tonnes globally in 2016.
In France for instance, while 65% of waste is recycled or used for backfilling and 6% is destined for energy recovery, 29% still goes to disposal (landfill/storage). The key challenges are to reduce the amount of waste generated, increase recycling rates, improve recovery/reuse and reduce landfill.
Several key avenues of development already identified in the 2015 French TECV law pertaining to the energy transition for green growth (covering biowaste, construction waste, plastic wastes and cigarette butts, together with technology integration and upgrading waste sorting centres) have been picked up and reinforced in strategies and current bills to comply with EU regulations, including the recent circular economy bill which wages war on waste.