A key source of waste generated by urban residents stems from single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and packaging, and other fast moving consumer goods that are produced to be cheap and disposable. If this waste is not disposed of correctly, then such residual materials can pollute the environment. Waste that is generated in cities can also find its way outside of the city, for example, being carried in water ways to pollute other water bodies.
Systems, initiatives and infrastructure can focus on preventing these types of waste from polluting the local environment. For example, infrastructure placed in local waterways can protect natural systems by diverting plastic pollution. Furthermore, other initiatives could clean up (plastic) waste directly to restore natural systems in a safe and effective way.
Local governments can support the implementation of solutions by establishing partnerships with and promoting existing initiatives, as well as developing and financing the infrastructures that could reduce the pollution in the local environment.