Tracking hazardous waste via the waste webMarie Donlon | April 26, 2022
To track the amount of hazardous waste moving across the globe, researchers at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Spain have devised a so-called "worldwide waste web."
Considering that there are 7 to 10 billion tons of waste produced globally each year — 300 to 500 metric tons of which is hazardous waste — the team developed the worldwide waste web and mathematical model based on global data from 2001 through 2019.
The worldwide waste web was originally developed to track the waste trade taking place around the world wherein some countries sell and ship their waste to other countries where it is used as a resource.
Such connections, the researchers determined, could reveal patterns about what countries are importing and exporting hazardous waste as well as those nearing a saturation point that could potentially lead to environmental and health problems.
As such, the researchers believe that the worldwide waste web could one day be used to track global waste issues, both now and in the future.
The worldwide waste web is detailed in an article titled The world-wide waste web, which appears in the journal Nature Communications.