Adopting Integrated Solid Waste Management towards Zero Waste Cities

27 March 2024 | 16:30 – 18:00 JST
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The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently convened a webinar titled "Adopting Integrated Solid Waste Management towards Zero Waste Cities" on March 27, 2024, in alignment with the UN's International Day of Zero Waste. The webinar aimed to address the pressing global waste crisis by promoting the transition towards zero-waste cities.

The objectives of the webinar were threefold: to educate participants on the critical role of zero-waste cities in sustainable urban development, to facilitate the exchange of best practices among cities, and to foster collaboration in overcoming challenges hindering zero-waste initiatives.

Distinguished speakers shared valuable insights during the event. Shunichi Honda from UNEP provided an overview of the Global Waste Management Outlook II, 2024. Nishshanka De Silva highlighted the Zero Plastic movement's efforts in Sri Lanka. Shibu K. Nair discussed collaborative zero-waste efforts in Asian cities, with a focus on organic waste and climate considerations. Akira Sakano emphasized the importance of zero waste in achieving a net-zero society in Japan. Rajeev Kumar Singh elaborated on integrated planning aspects within sustainable urban development. Miho Hayashi provided insights into IGES's initiatives and projects aimed at advancing sustainable waste management strategies.

The webinar concluded with a call to action for adopting an integrated solid waste management approach within the circular economy framework. Attendees gained a deeper understanding of circular economy principles, emphasizing waste minimization, product lifespan extension, and material recycling. The discussion highlighted the crucial role of environmentally sound waste management practices in mitigating environmental degradation and promoting sustainability.

Overall, the webinar empowered participants to drive positive change within their communities and organizations by raising awareness and promoting business-oriented actions in waste management.

Event Details

27 March 2024 | 16:30 – 18:00 JST


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Presentation Materials


16:30-16:40 Introduction to the webinar and the Global Waste Management Outlook 2
Shunichi Honda, Programme Officer UNEP-IETC
16:40-16:50 Zero Plastic’s mission to create a behavioural change among Sri Lankan citizens to reduce Plastic waste while building a demand for plastic substitutes produced by local entrepreneurs.
Nishshanka De Silva, Founder, Zero Plastic movement in Sri Lanka
16:50-17:00 Shibu K. Nair, Regional Campaigner- Organics and Climate, GAIA Asia Pacific 
17:00-17:10 Co-creating opportunities to practice Zero Waste in Japanese Cities
Akira Sakano, Zero Waste Japan
17:10-17:20 A Role of Zero Waste in achieving a Net Zero Society
Rajeev Kumar Singh, Associate Professor, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
17:20-17:30 Integrated planning and zero waste cities/ introduction to new projects of CCET.
Miho Hayashi, Programme Manager, IGES-CCET
17:30-18:00 Q&A 


Shunichi Honda
Programme Officer, UNEP-IETC

Dr. Shunichi Honda is a dedicated Programme Officer overseeing the international waste management programme at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). With a wealth of experience and expertise, Dr. Honda plays a pivotal role in advancing integrated solid waste management initiatives, encompassing a wide range of waste streams such as plastic waste, E-waste, mercury waste, medical waste, hazardous waste, municipal solid waste, etc. His work spans across various thematic areas, including waste and climate change, waste and gender, waste and the informal sector, as well as recycling and small-medium enterprise development.

Drawing upon his extensive background in environmental management, Dr. Honda is committed to addressing pressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainable waste management practices on a global scale. His contributions to waste management initiatives are underscored by a holistic approach that integrates environmental conservation, social inclusion, and economic development.

Through his leadership and collaborative efforts, Dr. Honda strives to drive positive change and make meaningful contributions towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. His dedication to advancing integrated solid waste management reflects his passion for environmental sustainability and his commitment to creating a healthier and more resilient planet for present and future generations.

Nishshanka De Silva
Founder, Zero Plastic movement in Sri Lanka

As the founder of ZeroPlastic Movement, a global network of thousands of volunteers united by a common vision, Mr. Nishshanka de Silva is a passionate social entrepreneur and environmental advocate. He has been leading the movement since 2021, with the mission to create a plastic-free nation and combat plastic pollution. Through his innovative and impactful projects, he has raised awareness and implemented sustainable solutions in collaboration with universities, communities, and partners across the country.

Mr. Nishshanka has over 18 years of experience in the tech industry, with skills in new business development, network administration, and digital marketing. He holds an MBA and a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Colombo and the University of Peradeniya, respectively. He has also worked as an engineer and a tech advisor for various organizations. Mr. Nishshanka's achievements have been recognized by several awards, including the Social Impact Award and the WeAreTogether Prize, for his significant nationwide and global impact. Mr. Nishshanka is driven by his dedication to transform the ZeroPlastic Movement into the largest environmental nonprofit organization in Sri Lanka.

Shibu K. Nair
Regional Campaigner- Organics and Climate, GAIA Asia Pacific

Mr. Shibu K. Nair has been active in movements and campaigns related to the environment and toxics since 1991. He entered the realm of environmental activism by organizing environmental education programs for schools in Kerala. He is one of the pioneers of the zero waste movement in India and led the zero waste campaigns and programs for Thanal — one of the oldest environmental organizations in South India. His expertise is in organics management, designing and developing zero-waste systems at the community level, and strategizing zero waste programs and campaigns.

He has contributed in formulating the decentralized solid waste management policy for Government of Kerala, India and served as member of Technical and Planning Committees on municipal solid waste management for many Cities in India. He is one of the founding members of Zero Waste Himalaya – a network of organizations, institutions and communities across the Himalayas. He is a state level resource person for training programmes for government officials and elected representatives on health and sanitation in Kerala.

Currently he is with GAIA Asia Pacific to facilitate network members to advance the policy advocacy campaign for lowering organic waste methane in the region.

Mr. Shibu is based in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India

Akira Sakano
Zero Waste Japan

Ms. Akira Sakano / Representative Director, Zero Waste Japan. 2015-2020: Chair of the Board of Directors, Zero Waste Academy, Japan - served to spread the zero waste community building concepts all over the world and showcased how a small town could be a model of change to the world. Since 2020, founded Zero Waste Japan - delivers planning and implementation of zero waste policy and projects to local governments, communities and businesses in Japan and elsewhere. Co-Founded Green innovation in 2021 to develop more than 1,000 “green innovators” to tackle climate change by 2030. Delivering “Green Innovator Academy” where educating students and young professionals to foster Green innovators to deliver Green transformation. Joined ECOMMIT Co.,Ltd. in 2023 as Director & Chief Sustainability Officer to contribute in building circular economy infrastructure from business field. Global Shaper, World Economic Forum 2012 to 2020. Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019. Master, Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies.

Rajeev Kumar Singh
Associate Professor, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies

Dr. Rajeev Kumar Singh holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies and a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Currently serving as an Associate Professor at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies (KCUFS), he also holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Tsukuba. His teaching expertise spans various subjects in Environmental Studies/Science and Global Issues. Within his laboratory, students engage in research covering diverse topics, including waste management, marine litter, single-use plastics, climate change, and biodiversity. Dr. Singh's research is primarily focused on developing sustainable waste management practices to mitigate the environmental impact of waste. Additionally, he has a keen interest in exploring the interconnections between waste management and climate, health, education and community development. Dr. Singh collaborates with various universities, government institutes, and research organizations in Japan, Nepal, the U.S.A., Vietnam, and Bangladesh to conduct joint research on the aforementioned topics. Ongoing research projects include the analysis of green spaces in specific Japanese cities and their impact on mental health and community interaction, as well as the mitigation potential of greenhouse gases from open waste burning in selected South Asian cities.

Miho Hayashi
Programme Manager, IGES-CCET

Ms. Hayashi brings over fifteen years of extensive experience in addressing environmental and health issues across diverse sectors, spanning her roles in consulting firms, UNDP, JICA, and international NGOs. In 2020, she transitioned to a pivotal role as a Programme Manager at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) where Ms. Hayashi has demonstrated a strong commitment to the development and execution of integrated solid waste management strategies. Her approach emphasizes the incorporation of local capacity and context, with a particular focus on advancing circular economy principles and enhancing resource efficiency.