Reducing Marine Litter in the Mediterranean through Waste Wise Cities Lebanon

  • Project no.352237
  • Duration 11/2022 - 10/2025

Lebanon is a highly urbanized country, with more than half of its population concentrated along the coast. From the high amounts of municipal solid waste generated in this area, it is estimated that about 8 per cent is being recycled, 15 per cent composted, 51 per cent landfilled and 26 per cent disposed in open dumps. The current mismanagement of the waste sector resulted in about 940 uncontrolled dumps affecting the terrestrial and marine environment, as well as public health. With lack of clear national waste strategies, the Lebanese coastal Unions of Municipalities (UoMs) find themselves alone in their waste management service provision with severe lack in financial and human resources.

Against this background, ReMaL aims at supporting Lebanese coastal Unions of Municipalities (UoMs) in establishing the foundations of integrated sustainable waste management (ISWM), thus enhancing resource recovery, decreasing environmental pollution — especially marine litter — and promoting stability in the country. In course of this project the UoMs will benefit of support for the assessment of their waste status through data collection on waste generation, management (Waste Wise Cities Tool) and potential plastic leakage (Waste Flow Diagram). Based on the data, policy and infrastructure gaps, as well as activities to close the gaps will be identified in a participatory process. These results will lead to the implementation of pilot projects and feasibility studies, which will be accompanied by awareness raising activities. For long-term sustainability, national policy recommendations will be formulated, which will benefit policy makers and more broadly citizens and refugees.

ReMaL is guided by four core objectives:

  • Data collection on waste generation, management (Waste Wise Cities Tool) and potential plastic leakage (Waste Flow Diagramme) is available in each Union of Municipality (UoM) and serves for evidence-based decision making.
  • Pilot projects to improve waste management and prevent marine litter are implemented in the UoMs and feasibility studies are carried out.
  • Public awareness on sustainable waste management and marine litter prevention is raised.
  • Policy recommendations on waste management and marine litter are formulated for relevant national institutions.

To successfully implement this project, the Wuppertal Institute, as the lead agency, works closely together with the UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme and the Habitat Unit at the Technische Universität Berlin. Next to project management activities, the Wuppertal Institute is responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of the Design Waste Observatory as well as for the in-depth analysis of current ISWM financing mechanisms, recycling infrastructure gaps, and policy legislations in order to develop policy recommendations in collaboration with relevant ministries.

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