PLASTICS: WASTE TO WEALTH
Have you ever heard the word “plastic” before? Of course, everyone must have because we are always surrounded by it – or rather, we are living with it every moment!
Just like a coin with two sides, PLASTIC does the same thing. On the one side, it has served to be one of the handiest and cheapest products that have made our lives so convenient and instantaneous that plastic is used in some way or the other for almost all of our everyday jobs. Eat “healthy food” in a plastic plate, purchase children’s plastic toys, ingest food wrapped in plastic packets, drink mineral water in plastic bottles, even bring “organic food” products in a plastic bag and plastic like relationships that crack easily in no time! Is there anything around us without plastic? Humans, we! We are the only beings on earth with a sense of humanity and morality, but also the greediest creatures who injure the entire world for their own sake without which we are literally nothing? To think this way, we first pollute, and then find ways to purify it by purifiers, whether it is water or air, is so paradoxical.
Until inventing plastic, what about the world? Can we again build that one? Can we imagine a plastic-less world? Well if not, we need to start seriously thinking about this now because since the 90s, the production and waste accumulation from plastics has more than tripled.
Waste is something that is of little use to us, of no value and just does not seem to have a meaning. Merely wondered why? Well because it relies on the beholder’s eye, it differs from individuals, to places, to governments, and even to nations. So what is a “waste” exactly, according to you?
Let us state, for the sake of describing it – a waste is a discarded object that has served its “temporary” purpose and will be of no further benefit to us but and of no further use to us.
Waste is also waste for humans and animals, so what differentiates us from animals? Well the wisdom and intelligence we have will help us turn the waste into wealth. This is what I want you to speak about the idea of converting waste into wealth.
What seems to me as a solution is that we should add “a value” (monetary) to this wealth that does not seem to limit itself exclusively to a source of income, but also to physical, mental and social well-being.
WHAT ALREADY EXITS?
Let us first look at various ways in which the world has already tried to minimize the use of plastics before hoping specifically to find ways to turn our waste to wealth. Bio-Plastics, Biodegradable Plastics, and Recycled Plastics are three types of eco-friendly plastics that have been launched in recent years.
Today, large corporations have begun to take on the burden of manufacturing environmentally friendly goods. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, have vowed to use eco-friendly materials in their products, as in the soda industry. In 2015, Coca-Cola revealed that its products are entirely made from modern renewable” plant materials.
“Method” a Canadian company that manufactures cleaning products, uses ocean-recovered plastics, and prohibits recycling from producing new plastics.
The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) approach helps to segregate waste from sources, ban plastic bags, etc.
But my point is: are these measures specifically prepared for us? Are we enough for only a handful of businesses taking some moves in the direction of “Non-Plastic World”?
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The answer lies in what every day, we see, feel, and think about!
As reported earlier, individuals and businesses around the world are trying to come up with fresh and creative ideas to tackle the terrible effects of the rising plastic in the world.
The right approach to turn our waste into resources and make those creative ideas more successful and communicative is all that will do wonders.
Rag-pickers, for instance, gather old newspapers from our houses and trade them for some monetary value. That is exactly how we all need to start raising awareness of plastics. The same thing can be done with plastic to be sold to rag-pickers who are sufficiently “aware” to take them to the right sources for further recycling processes. This is how a market opportunity can be used to improve the health of our community.
It is important to be aware of the lethal effects of plastics on our health, our environment, and to be aware of discarding plastic waste at the right sources.
This can be achieved in a decentralized way through door-to-door campaigning to ensure that everybody specially targeting low resource setting areas is part of the same task, by mass communication platforms such as plays, acts, speeches, posters, demonstrating how detrimental the plastic has posed to the environment and our lives, directly, through social media to make as many people aware as possible.
Ultimately, this understanding will lead to a systemic disposal of plastic waste in our cities, communities, states and nations that will enable unemployed people to incentivize and make money and live from it.
This will, for example, employ individuals in the collection of single-use plastics, then in the shredding factories where the plastic collected can be shredded and processed into bales, then in the building of roads and cement factories using the bales that will create job opportunities for wage workers.
With the exception of monetary capital, mental and physical wealth will still emerge, because of the healthier and purer world in which we will live.
The problem is huge, and the consequences are going to be massive, too.
The choice remains yours! Don’t allow it to convert to—
“Plastic Plastic Everywhere, no natural environment with which to live.”