The Waste Flow Diagram (WFD) was designed to provide a rapid assessment method for low- and middle- income municipalities or cities to understand their solid waste management system and map the flows of waste.
Material flow analysis (MFA) is used to map these waste flows across the system, with important aspects such as contributions from the informal recycling sector and plastic pollution also quantified.
A unique observational based approach offers a quick estimation of plastic leakage and identification of problematic areas. Whilst not including the detail on plastic emissions that other toolkits possess, such as the Plastic Pollution Calculator, the WFD provides a less data intensive approach to arrive at rapid approximations of plastic pollution. This is achieved using decision trees and descriptive tables for each part of the solid waste management system that incorporate the waste management infrastructure and practices into the calculation of leakage potentials.