International Chemicals and Waste Conventions

Chemicals are increasingly produced and used throughout the globe in the manufacture of everyday products, for industrial, agricultural and household applications and in all other sectors. Similarly, increased production and use of products by individuals, families and businesses result in the generation of large quantities of wastes which must then be disposed of. Most countries, however, do not employ environmentally sound mechanisms to manage the production, use and disposal of chemicals and waste, thus resulting in releases of potentially hazardous materials to the environment and human exposure to toxic chemicals.

The international community has come together to develop several multilateral environmental agreements to address the need for the environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste in order to protect human and environmental health from the negative impacts of improper management. Further, efforts are being made to support the development of circular economies in which countries can experience economic benefits from material recovery and reuse while reducing the quantities of waste being generated.