Open burning of plastics aggravates climate change and impacts human health. Open burning is a daily practice in households across the globe, particularly in regions without waste collection systems and due to lack of recyclability properties of plastics packagings. Join International Waste Platform’s global movement to raise awareness, educate and advocate for environmental regulations to prohibit open burning as a waste management practice.
🔥 open waste burning & climate change
Research suggest that Black carbon emissions from open burning of waste has a climate impact equivalent to 2–10% of global CO2Eq emissions.
Intentional burning of household waste is part of routine household chores. Intentional trash burning is often the only household or community level waste management method available in poorly regulated or developing countries. Intentional burning happens in landfills to create space. Spontaneous burning in landfills occurs due to ignition by methane from decomposing organic waste.
Burning can be an intentional practice at landfills or illegal dump sites, to create space; Waste burning also happens intentionally along the informal recycling chain, for instance to get rid of the mixed low-value or non-recyclable materials or during the informal recycling of e-waste;
Spontaneous burning also happens in landfills ignited by methane gas;
Open-burning of rice straw residues pollutes the air and contributes to global warming through emissions of Greenhouse gases;
🔥 open waste burning & health
Harmful pollutants from open-air burning include: fine particulates; black carbon (soot) particles; polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzo furans (PCDFs); and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens such as benzo(a)pyrene.
Young children and older adults, especially those with existing respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc.) are most susceptible to the immediate negative health effects from open-air burning. Exposure to poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans are linked to problems with cancer, the liver, the immune system, endocrine system, the reproductive system, and the developing systems of the young.
Available in Burmese, English, Filipino, French, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Malagasy, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish (Castillano), Swahili, Tetum and Turkish. We invite you, your organisation, business or government to join our campaign by sharing this poster. You can download it free of charge in your country’s language for use in your networks and your community campaign. If your country’s national language is not yet included we can translate a poster for you.
The impact of open burning of plastics is well documented in this report by CIEL – Plastic & Health – The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet
Publication The Effect of Open-Air Waste Burning on Infant Health: Evidence from Government Failure in Lebanon March 2020 – authors Pierre Mouganie, American University of Beirut and IZA; Ruba Ajeeb, American University of Beirut;
Mark Hoekstra, Texas A&M University, NBER and IZA
Slides from COP26 presentation by dr. Vijay Sharma addressing the impact of open waste burning on health. video
Plastic Waste Poisoning Food and Threatening Communities in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America – 2021 June by IPEN
Mismanagement of Plastic Waste through Open Burning with Emphasis on the Global South: A Systematic Review of Risks to Occupational and Public Health by Costas A. Velis, Ed Cook Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 11, 7186–7207 – May 18, 2021
OPEN BURNING OF WASTE: A GLOBAL HEALTH DISASTER by R20 Regions of Climate Action
Health and Environmental Effects of Open Burning of Refuse and Other Solid Wastes by Government of Saskatchewan
Open Burning during the COVID-19 Pandemic by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Environmental Effects | Backyard Burning | Wastes by US EPA
Burning of fallen leaves poses health hazards The Times of India
Paper Burning and Associated Pollution Problems in Higher Educational
Institutions of Ethiopia; The Need and Potential for Recycling by Mekonnen Amberber and Yitayal Addis, Department of Environmental Science, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Ethiopia
How does burning of rice straw affect CH4 and N2O emissions? A comparative experiment of different on-field straw management practices International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Experimental measurements of black carbon emission factors to estimate the global impact of uncontrolled burning of waste
Measuring black carbon emissions from open burning of waste by Professor David C. Wilson
Uncontrolled burning of solid waste by households in Mexico is a significant contributor to climate change in the country
© International Waste Platform