MY WASTE, MY RESPONSIBILITY
“My Waste, My Responsibility”, is the mantra for No Dumping, a non-profit organisation that aims at having cities without dumpsites. Waste management is one of the biggest challenges that urban India faces. It is not just India, but the whole world faces the menace of mountains of waste on our planet. It has become one of the leading studies for academicians around the world to invent and discover new techniques to dispose of waste. Every plastic that has ever been produced on this planet still exist on our seas, oceans and lands. There has been no known natural or artificial technique to degrade plastics which means once the plastic is manufactured there is no way to get rid of that plastic in our lifetime. Scientists and engineers estimate that one gram of plastic takes more than 450 years to be completely degraded which means the plastic that we use today will still be in existence for four generations to come. Scientists and engineers are on the verge of creating breakthrough bacteria and viruses which can decompose plastics but as of now, there is no scientific solution to get rid of plastic from the earth. Organic waste such as vegetables and fruits can be decomposed through composting, landfill or any other forms. But disposing of inorganic waste and plastic waste has been a challenge for human civilization ever since the invention of these materials.
Handle with care, plastic is everywhere :
Prioritising research and development to create and form innovative solutions for recycling and reuse of plastic in organic and toxic wastes are important to prevent the impact of the mountains of waste that we have already produced and dumped it on nature. The international community has to come forward and stop the dumping of toxic waste on our oceans, seas, lands and air. This will eventually come back to us and start poisoning our food cycle, which in a worst-case scenario, can cause millions of deaths across the world.
Menace of plastic waste is a big threat to the existence of our planet. In this particular waste management essay, we shall be concentrating mainly on plastic waste because it is one of the biggest looming threats to our country. There are other waste as well which are organic and inorganic nature which can be artificially or naturally degraded but plastic is one such material where scientists have failed to find a suitable solution for degradation.
Solution to waste management :
“Recycle TODAY for a better TOMMORROW”
The solution to waste management cannot be implemented by the government or officers sitting miles away from your home. As the saying goes, charity begins at home, the solution to waste management should be started within our homes. Firstly while disposing of waste, segregation of waste into liquid waste, solid waste, organic waste, inorganic waste and plastic waste should be categorized well. Plastic waste should be as much as possible reused and the organic and inorganic waste, instead of throwing away, can be used as compost in our backyard or in our gardens. While waste management can start at our house, there should be enough awareness and educational programs that the government should conduct to make people aware of the impending threat of plastics in our society.
Reuse , Reduce , Recycle :
Other than the individual level, on a governmental level, the massive scale of waste produced by human beings in a country is in thousands of tons every day. The government has to set up recycling plants in every district and every village so that the waste produced will be recycled immediately within the vicinity without being dumped on the land or water which causes pollution in the ecosystem. Without proper recycling and reusing and disposable systems in place, man has been dumping harmful and toxic waste on land and water for many years, without realising the fact that this waste will eventually come back to man through food or through the very air we breath. “Reuse the past, Recycle the present, Save the future”.
Effects on Human Health :
Industries and factories dump certain toxic wastes and oils in oceans, harming the aquatic life on the planet. When this aquatic life is consumed by human beings, this will poison the entire food chain on all levels. It is said that harmful chemical such as zinc or lead or tungsten has been already penetrated through our food cycle. It is also estimated that people have started to consume plastics through food, agricultural food, and this can have catastrophic effects on human health. Don’t be mean ; keep the surroundings clean.
Our/my responsibilities for our/my waste :
1. Disposing of plastic and non-biodegradable waste has become a challenge for the globe.
2. Segregation of waste into plastic waste, organic waste, inorganic waste and liquid waste is essential.
3. Recycling and reusing of materials like plastic bags is one way to reduce waste produced on the earth.
4. Alternatives to plastic such as gunny bags, jute bags and paper bags should be widely used around the world.
5. Proper awareness and educational campaign should be conducted to make people aware of a safe waste disposal system.
6. Composting of organic waste within our house premises has a lot of good effects on the soil and air.
7. If landfills are composted with organic waste such as vegetable and fruit leftovers, then it can increase the fertility of the soil.
8. If we dump harmful and toxic waste on land and oceans, then it will eventually come back to us in the form of the food chain.
9. It is said that plastic and harmful chemicals used in pesticides and herbicides have already entered our food and human beings are consuming it on a daily basis.
10. The only known solution to reduce waste and to have a proper waste management system is for reuse and recycling at an individual level.
I would like to conclude by saying that waste management cannot be done effectively if each and every citizen of the country doesn’t take cognizance of the problem. All that the governments and authorities can do is create a system but the onus of separating the waste and reuse and recycling lies on the shoulders of every citizen of the country. The international community has to come together and formulate proper laws and policies to prevent the dumping of harmful waste into our ecosystem and we have to prioritize the research and development to find innovative waste disposal solutions. We all are the real stakeholders of nature and it is our responsibility to save nature from being polluted and depleted.
No rule, no law can make you segregate and manage waste. It is us who can be the change. If we spend little time and efforts then we can bring a big change.