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It is now undeniable that human relationship with the planet is sick. The most effective approach to restrict the degradation of ecosystems is to significantly change human consumption patterns towards more sustainable ones. The amount of waste generated is the result of the consumption society that emerged ...

It is now undeniable that human relationship with the planet is sick. The most effective approach to restrict the degradation of ecosystems is to significantly change human consumption patterns towards more sustainable ones. The amount of waste generated is the result of the consumption society that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. Waste can be considered both a resource and an environmental problem. When unproperly managed, the greenhouse gases (GHG) carbon dioxide and methane gas are produced, contributing to global warming and climate change. Sustainable waste management is therefore an important tool to achieve a sustainable consumption cycles in society.

Waste management has strong impacts on different sectors of society, specifically in terms of environment and health, but also related to different aspects of global sustainability. Future ecological challenges will have to consider the strong connections between waste and climate policy, addressing aspects that necessarily reflect the demanding issues of the current environmental situation. This will imply changed patterns of consumption, more efficient production methods, and waste management with a greater focus on lifecycle, circular economy, and environmental impacts. Within the UN 2030 Agenda, wider sustainability challenges must be considered as highly relevant and wastes are, per se, considered an essential tool to pursue global sustainability, addressed in different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable cycles can be achieved with increased recycling and reduced landfilling, a major issue in developing countries, thus contributing to climate change impacts’ mitigation, efficiency in the use of natural resources and, consequently, protecting human and environmental health. Worldwide studies have also emphasized that disadvantaged communities are more likely to be exposed to inappropriate waste management, which can undermine sustainability efforts.

Due to its nature, it is implied that the application of combined methodologies and approaches, i.e., innovative solutions, can contribute to solving this global issue. However, these solutions must consider wider sustainability challenges that go beyond the classic ones as well as ones that have recently emerged: climate change impacts and unpredictability, pandemics, socioeconomic inequalities and exposure to wastes, manual scavenging, and many others. A global commitment is needed by policymakers, stakeholders ,and civil society, working together to strengthen social cohesion through the adoption of common purposes.

This Research Topic aims to address contributions in the topics of waste challenges in the context of wider sustainability challenges, regarding its management and interconnections with climate policy, pandemics, circular economy, sustainable patterns, and socioeconomic inequalities. Contributions addressing different perspectives, both theoretical and practical approaches, are welcome. It is intended to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development, namely by presenting the relevant cases and learning studies that provide useful knowledge that can be replicated in other regions and contexts.

The authors are encouraged to address submissions related to, but are not limited to, the following topics:

- Waste and climate theory and practice involved in the COVID-19 pandemic area;
- Circular economy and its sustainability dimensions with regard to waste;
- Waste and climate change studies contribution to advance global sustainability;
- Challenges in Sustainable Development Research within the waste field;
- Waste cross-cutting issues addressed in the context of climate emergency and global sustainability;
- Addressing the waste and climate topics in a global crisis scenario;
- Waste environment and health outcomes;
- Waste management and societal implications;
- Waste policy contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- Corporate waste practices to climate change mitigation;
- Managerial learning and leadership development in the context of waste sustainability;
- Sustainable projects and applications within the waste and climate change framework;
- Waste and climate change sustainable effective and efficient public policy;
- Case studies involving the connections between wastes and climate change at a global level.

Overall, this Research Topic aims to integrate waste problematic within climate change emergency and global sustainable development in an interdisciplinary way.

Keywords: Wastes, climate change, COVID-19 pandemic, global crisis, circular economy, sustainability, sustainability dimensions, SDGs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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