“Asian rivers are the most heavily polluted on our planet, especially when it comes to plastics.” Have you ever heard this, maybe said it even? Is this entirely the fault of Asian countries managing their waste poorly? Think about this: is it realistic to expect Asian landfills and il(legal) recycling plants to process our waste properly when we ourselves cannot? It’s easy to point fingers, and it’s easy to be wrong.
When developed countries (UK, Aus, USA, the EU) send their waste to Malaysia (after china imposed a moratorium on accepting foreign waste) is it at all fair or realistic to expect their waste management industries to be more effective than our own? Many modern developed countries are dumping their trash in far less developed countries, with great risk of trash ending up in rivers and the ocean. Then issuing the blame for global pollution to those countries, even though it is our own trash!
We need to drastically reduce our own use and consumption of plastic products! The current model is utterly unsustainable, we need to be conscientious and innovative in our approach to waste management, and not just “sweep it under the rug!”
Many plastic products are pushed on the market in order make a profit, when really another solution would be better for everyone. Cheap plastic parts have become normal, and are often prone to failure, when a higher quality part made from another material will last far longer, meaning you have to buy less! Buy less is not what big business wants. Take a look at excessive packaging, shrink wrapped cucumbers, bananas in bags. We can easily do without these packagings. How about bottled water? Most of the time it’s just water that has been filtered, bottle after bottle filled with water and used one time. Each time another bottle, another sale, and more plastic in our oceans. It’s both more cost effective and sustainable to use our own water filters, and refill high quality bottles again and again!
It’s high time to step up and take responsibility for ourselves, as a species, as nations, and as individuals; this is where the most quick and effective change can occur, the individual! Hey You! Think about using less plastic! Think about where you put it when you’re done! What can you reuse or repurpose of the plastics you already have and how? How can you drastically reduce the amount of plastic you use? There are a great number of ways to do this in daily life, for example: a stainless steel straw or a reusable fabric bag or three could save hundreds of single use items from being produced each year! There are so many sustainable products available for higher quality and lasting re-use! Think about that!…Now don’t just think, Act!