Flagship Project 2018 #WhatHappensToMyWaste?

Have you ever wondered where that empty plastic bottle ends up that you throw into a nearby bin?

Maybe this exact bottle will be turned into a new plastic bottle. Or it is burnt somewhere. Or it ends up in a landfill. Or it might for some reason just end up in a river. Or in the ocean. Or, or, or …..

We generally tend to ignore that all our stuff goes somewhere once we decide to get rid of it. And the fate of waste can look very different depending on its disposal location.

As the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Young Professionals Group (YPG), we are united by our common passion for more sustainable production, consumption and disposal practices. Our mission is to make global connections among people, knowledge and ideas aimed at improving waste and resource management practices.

Based on the findings of the 2017 World Waste Map survey (available here) we designed our annual Flagship Project 2018 #WhatHappensToMyWaste? The outcomes will be presented at the ISWA World Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.


The project has two tracks:

  • Global Campaign: #WhatHappensToMyWaste?
  • 1st YPG Online Conference: "Effects of Improper Waste Management in South East Asia"

 A.    Global Campaign #WhatHappensToMyWaste?

Watch here how it works! 



·        Promote campaign via Facebook Group #WhatHappensToMyWaste? & at local events (e.g. IFAT)


Mobilize people across the globe to ask the question #WhatHappensToMyWaste? & raise awareness about

        where our waste ends up,

        how to best dispose of specific kind of wastes in a specific region,

        how to prevent waste generation at source.


How to participate

General public

        Post a question to our dedicated Facebook Group in the form of a video (or a picture with text) asking #WhatHappensToMyWaste?, showing a specific kind of waste in a specific place, e.g. Mat from Adelaide asks: “What happens to my empty beer can?”

        Visit a local waste and recycling facility or expert to find out the answer, and share it.


Celebrities & influential people

        Celebrities & influential people can become ambassadors of our campaign by posting a question to our Facebook Group in the form of a video (or a picture with text) asking #WhatHappensToMyWaste? and sharing on their social media platforms.



        Teachers give “waste lessons”

        Post a video / photo with a group of kids asking #WhatHappensToMyWaste? to our Facebook Group, showing a specific kind of waste in a specific place.

        Setting up a school excursion to visit a local waste or recycling facility to find out what happens to their waste!



        Experts from the waste & resources management sector (e.g. from recycling companies, consultants, or in government) can participate by posting replies to the questions where they know the answer.

        Post a link to your educational materials / campaigns to our Facebook Group

        Exlain in a short video your company’s outreach / educational strategy.


Participate in the ISWA YPG #WhatHappensToMyWaste Education Award!


B.    1st ISWA YPG Online Conference
"Effects of Improper Waste management in South East Asia: Local Challenges, Global Solutions"



    June 5, 2018, 10: 00 - 12:00 CEST 



        Online Conference (replay available here

        Focus: Waste management solutions for South East Asia from across the globe 


Target Audience

       Young professionals & early career researchers 



·        No conference fee

·        Based on submitted abstracts presentations were selected for the Online Conference

·        Best three abstracts will be awarded & presented at the YPG’s special session at the ISWA World Congress. 

·        Conference Proceedings available here.