Our World | Our Waste

Dear World

We have a global waste problem

This is a 911 and it is time to wake up

We need to take a look at what is going on and how on earth has it got to this point.

We have waste everywhere in every area of life and it is not going away.

Our systems are failing us

Our infrastructure is not working

Our Priority has never been to deal with our waste-full ways of living every day.

We cannot continue living in the old era

We need to get on the front foot when it comes to our waste in every area of life.

Our Business world are not all dealing with waste in the way it is needed.

We do not have a clear template of how to take Responsibility when it comes to waste.

We have been creating excess waste for far too long now and things need to change.

Our whole world is suffering because of the knock on effect of what waste is doing.

Our policy makers are not doing a great job as our waste is being highlighted to us.

Our oceans lakes rivers and waterways are being polluted by the dumping of our waste.

We are not all clear about the value of recycling.

Most of us have no idea what happens once the bin guys pick up our waste.

Many of us have stinky unclean waste disposal bins as this is not an area we pay attention to as it’s not our thing.

Many of us see waste as a smelly thing and want it to just go away.

Our efforts to clear up areas where waste has been dumped is not enough as it’s still going on.

We want things because our mind tells us so

In other words, we have a picture in our mind and we want it. We are not interested in what happens to the waste we no longer want.

Fly tipping is big stuff in some places and it continues despite fines and other Solutions to combat the problem.

We have become a culture of waste

TODAY is World Environment Day

What on earth does that mean to us on the street

What is the purpose of this day and is it really working

Here is what the official website is saying –

World Environment Day – 5 June 2019

Theme for 2019 – Air Pollution

A Platform for Action

World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

It began in 1974 and the event has now grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

The People’s Day

World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth.

That “something” can be local, national or global
It can be a solo action or involve a crowd

The Theme

Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. (1)

Air Pollution

Air pollution is everywhere even if we cannot see it
In every breath, we are taking in particles that can attack our lungs, heart and brain

World Environment Day 2019 is issuing a call to action to combat this global crisis

We are now faced with an urgent task

90% people worldwide exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed World Health Organization safe levels. (2)  

7 million worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution
4 million of these deaths occur in Asia-Pacific

The health effects of air pollution are serious
One third of deaths from stroke | lung cancer | heart disease due to air pollution
This is having an equivalent effect to that of smoking Tobacco1 and much higher than the effects of say, the effects of eating Salt. (3)

Other problems caused by air pollution include illness and lower IQs
It impacts on human health, economic growth and global warming (2)

Air pollution is now big on the world agenda

What is our Personal Responsibility and what are we each contributing to polluting this world of ours.

How are we breathing in life and how is this polluting us

Are we breathing the breath we came into the world with or have we taken on other stuff along the way.


Disposing of waste has huge environmental impacts and can cause serious problems.

In the UK much is buried in landfill sites – holes in the ground, old quarries and sometimes specially dug.

Some waste will eventually rot but not all and in the process it may smell or generate methane gas, which is explosive and contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Badly managed landfill sites may attract vermin or cause litter.

Incinerating waste also causes problems because plastics tend to produce toxic substances such as dioxins when they are burnt.

Gases from incineration may cause air pollution and contribute to acid rain while ash from incinerators may contain heavy metals and other toxins.

Due to these problems, there are active campaigns against waste incineration.

Throwing away things wastes resources

It wastes the raw materials and energy used in making the items and it wastes money

Reducing waste means less environmental impact, less resources and energy used and saves money. (4)

We live in the 24/7 want it now culture and the waste that produces is not our problem.

We have become a society that wastes without giving it any thought or consideration.

Our councils cannot cope with the excess waste that is polluting our streets.

We have funding cuts on waste at local levels that impact our communities, towns and cities.

Our poor recycling efforts are costing us millions and millions.

We are not being Honest about where our recycling ends up.

Our Solutions to tackle the waste epidemic are clearly not working.

We are dumping our waste elsewhere in the world but it is clearly no longer doing the job.

Our countries are farming off the waste across the water to poorer countries to deal with as it’s cheaper than taking action here.

Malaysia to Return 3,000 Tonnes of Plastic Waste

Malaysia Environment Minister has announced that 3,000 tonnes of non recyclable waste sent from around the world, would be returned because it was rotting, contaminated, falsely labelled or smuggled in.

The waste was from countries including UK | America | Australia | Canada

60 shipping containers filled with contaminated waste had been smuggled into illegal processing facilities in the country.
Reporters were shown the waste by Environment Minister – Yeo Bee Yin

Waste included

UK  Cables
Bangladesh CDs
Australia     Contaminated milk cartons

Electronic and household waste from

North America
Saudi Arabia

Two-thirds of UK’s plastic recycling is transported to sites across the world, often in the developing countries – Sky News report | 2018

It is often more lucrative to export plastic than process it domestically because land and labour are cheaper abroad.

The reality is that once it leaves our shores, no one really checks whether it is recycled and it could in fact end up in landfill according to the National Audit Office.

In the past, the UK would send much of its plastic to China for processing, where it was used to make items like computers, toys and appliances.

January 2018 – China banned imports of the world’s plastics

There are concerns the system of exporting waste could be inflating the UK’s recycling rates and failing to channel investment into recycling facilities here. (5)

Why Some Countries are Shipping Back Plastic Waste

Often, materials that cannot be recycled end up being burned illegally, dumped in landfills or waterways – creating risks to the environment and public health.

Worries about receiving such waste has forced countries to act

Philippines  – shipped back tonnes of rubbish to Canada and claims it was falsely labelled as plastic recycling in 2013 and 2014.

Malaysia – June 2019 sent back 5 containers of plastic waste to Spain after it was found to be contaminated.

China  – imported most of the world’s plastic waste until January 2018

Due to concerns about contamination and pollution, it declared it would no longer buy recycled plastic scrap that was not 99.5% pure.

The Impact of China’s Ban on Waste

Global plastic waste exports fell – dipping by almost half by the end of 2018, compared with 2016 levels.

There were reports of plastic waste ready for export piling up and some was diverted to other countries.

Malaysia | Vietnam | Thailand | Indonesia | Taiwan | South Korea | Turkey | India | Poland took up the slack.

Malaysia took a major share – the plastic waste imported from 10 countries in the first 6 months of 2018 was equal to the total received in 2016 and 2017.

However, the rubbish arriving in these countries was not sufficiently recyclable and it has caused problems. (6)

100 Tonnes of Plastic Waste to be Returned to Australia

Malaysian government will send back up to 100 tonnes of Australian plastic waste because it was too contaminated to recycle. They have not named the companies responsible for this.

Recycling sent from Australia included plastic bottles “full of maggots”

Many developed countries export a large amount of their recyclables to other countries to process.

China – the largest receiver threw Australian recycling into crisis in 2018 when it introduced new standards that ruled out 99% of what Australia used to export.

Since then, waste management companies have found new markets in other countries – many in south-east Asia.

“Malaysia will not be the dumping ground of the world – we will fight back even though we are a small country. We cannot be bullied by developed countries…Now we know that garbage is traded under the pretext of recycling.”
Yeo Bee Yin – Malaysia Environment Minister (7)

Malaysian authorities have not yet finished inspecting all the waste but they have already identified rubbish to be returned to –

UK | US | Japan | China | Bangladesh | Spain | France | Netherlands | Germany | Singapore | Saudi Arabia

“It is unethical for Australia to send its non-recyclable, residual waste…to be burnt in cement kilns in other countries, effectively escaping Australian regulatory responsibility…

We dump our waste on the environment or on vulnerable communities or export it to developing countries in the Asia-Pacific…Our national waste and recycling policies have for decades been based on export to poor countries while we failed to develop genuine domestic recycling infrastructure.”
Jane Bremmer – Co-ordinator for Zero Waste Oz (7)

1,500 tonnes of waste would be returned to Canada in 69 containers announcement from Philippines President.



How can we dump the stuff we don’t want onto another country somewhere else in the world and think that is ok.

Getting rid of our Trash to another land still pollutes the earth and there is no getting away from that immutable fact.

If we join the dots, we can see that when China stopped taking on our waste, those affected had to wake up and find other countries willing to take on the task.

However, things are being exposed like contaminated waste and labelling that says recyclable when it clearly is not.

In other words – we are no longer just Getting Away with it.

What we are being told is to get more responsible with our waste

Our infrastructure is no longer working or producing the results we hoped as consumer waste is off the scale and the waste from goods and services is at epic proportions.

We cannot just rely on the next Solution as it’s not working

We need Real change and that means we need to get to the root cause of this waste epidemic that is out of control.

Each and every one of us produce waste and it needs to start with us – each and every one of us has an individual responsibility for creating the waste that then has to end up somewhere when we have finished with it.

How wasteful are we in everyday life

How wastefull are we at Christmas and Birthdays

How wastefull are we with the gift wrapping stuff

How wastefull are we with our shopping habits

How wastefull are we with our clothes and shoes

How wastefull are we with our home décor

How wastefull are we when it comes to toys for the kids

How wastefull are we when it comes to take out food

How wastefull are we when it comes to sanitary stuff

How wastefull are we with our toilet rolls and wet wipes

How wastefull are we with our must have dream garden

How wastefull are we with travelling because we can

How wastefull are we with running the car for a short trip

How wastefull are we with eating out because we can

We have become a world that thinks waste will take care of itself but this has led to many many Complications.

Our wastefull ways of living have serious consequences that we are not considering.

We are running out of landfill sites as it is not the answer.

We are nowhere on the front foot when it comes to our waste.

We have created fatbergs in our sewers that are now displayed in a museum. (8)  

We have produced so much waste that getting rid of it will not be an overnight thing.

We are not all united when it comes to waste

We all need to take Responsibility at an individual level if we are to deal with this worldwide waste issue.

WHY do we think it is simply ok to Trash our waste and let others deal with it.

WHY do we pay very little attention to any waste that we produce.

Is there Another Way when it comes to waste.

Is it time to Get Real and get Honest about waste.

Do we need to be asking more Questions about our own personal waste-full ways.

Do we want to get to the Truth of how to deal with our waste.

Do we care enough about our Earth to know that our excess waste can harm our planet.

Do we waste away every single day because we Get Away with it and nothing stops us.

Have we become a Careless world, which has led to this waste problem at a global scale.

Have we become a throwaway society because we want what we want and don’t want the responsibility of knowing what happens to our waste.

How much waste are we creating because we want to be bang up to date with fashion and what is out there.

Have we made waste a Priority in our life

Have we made waste a Focus in our life

Are we looking at the microcosm – our own personal environment and how we are choosing to live every day.

Are we into campaigning about the environment but not looking at the detail of where in life we are polluting mother Earth.

Are we busy Listening to Other People when it comes to dealing with our waste.

Are we living life in the Fast Lane so dealing with waste is not even on the radar.

Are we stocked up with Footwear to last a lifetime and yet we just keep on buying because we can and don’t think about the fact of if it is really needed and the waste it creates.

Are we owners of many Cars with high fuel consumption and the thought of excess pollution has not been something we want to know about.

Are we banging on about carbon footprint but forget that our multiple Holidays each year may be adding to that.

Are we Sitting on the Fence letting the waste crisis under our nose continue, but have no idea how to move and begin to change.

Are we even aware of our Fast Food, Junk Foods that create gases that harm our environment.

Are we busy Overdoing it in life, so thinking about what happens to our waste is not even on our agenda.

Are we ok trashing our Pots and Pans because we can just throw them out and replace them when we want, with no regard to what happens once they end up in the waste system.

Are we comfortable with our More more more lifestyle choices, which mean we can have whatever we want and throw out whatever we don’t want as often as we want to – because we can.

Are we simply wanting the Perfect garden and we don’t want to think about the waste and the cost to remove the waste we no longer want.

Are we aware of our own personal Food Waste and what it all adds up to and where it ends up.

Are we Struggling to function in life and the thought of thinking about our waste is way too much for us right now.

Are we really SMART if we have never given an ounce of attention to what happens to the personal waste we create daily.

Are we so Stressed about all areas of life that we cannot be bothered to even think about our wastefull ways of living everyday.

Are we spending our Day Off dealing with the waste we have created or are we adding more to the waste epidemic out there.

11 Billion Items of Packing Waste Every Year Generated from ‘Lunch on the Go’ Habit

‘Lunch on the go’ habit is growing in Britain generating packaging waste of which much is not recycled.

Workers are buying more takeaway and Fast Food lunches

64% bought lunch more on the go now than 5 years ago
£13.6 billion spent annually on lunch on the go

76%       main item boxed sandwich
70%       packet of crisps
65%       napkin

25%       too busy to make their own lunch
20%       more places now to eat out
19%       eating out is more tempting than it used to be

result of the UK’s Evolving Food Culture

Lunch on the go items create huge levels of waste and much is not recyclable

Packaging made from mixed materials or contamination from food residue are reasons why this type of waste is not recyclable.

By planning lunches in advance and using up items in your fridge, you can massively reduce the amount of packaging you use while saving money by cutting down on food waste.
Trewin Restorick – Chief Executive | Hubbub (9)


What is it about us that is too busy to take care of our food for the day

WHY are we tempted to eat out now more than before

Are there more places to eat because we the customers are demanding it

There is no supply unless there is a demand so we cannot Blame the rise in eating out places in our towns and cities.

Many of us happily champion and complain about the global waste but do we stop and look at how we as an individual may be contributing.

In other words, do we each need to look at every area of our life to see where we create unnecessary waste that one day will be of no use to us.

Have we asked ourselves what makes us get up and buy our lunch when we know there is food we could quite easily take to work or cook up on our Day Off.

Is there something we enjoy with the no fuss, enormous choice and buzz of buying lunch on a work day.

Are we going with the masses who never bring in lunch or is it not a cool thing to bring our own food as that’s another life and we keep it separate to work life.

Are we simply so exhausted that the thought of making or taking food into work is the last thing on our agenda.

Are we tired of thinking of what to eat so instead we opt for the easy way of just buying our lunch on the go and never think about the waste it causes to the planet.

One small country spending over £13 billion a year for lunch on the go – what is that telling us.

Dear World

What if we start dealing with the global waste problem at the home level.

In other words, we as individuals take Responsibility for the way we live and how much waste we have going on in our daily life.

Could this microcosm be the start of real change for the world – the macrocosm

Could it be that Simple?



(1) (2019). About World Environment Day. www.worldenvironmentday.global Retrieved June 1, 2019 from https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/about-world-environment-day

(2) (2019). Air Pollution. www.worldenvironmentday.global Retrieved June 1, 2019 from

(3) (n.d). How Air Pollution is Destroying Our Health. World Health Organization. Retrieved June 4, 2019 from

(4) (n.d). Environmental Impacts. Green Choices. Retrieved June 4, 2019 from

(5) (2019, May 28). Malaysia to Return 3,000 Tonnes of Plastic Waste to UK and Other Countries. Sky News. Retrieved June 4, 2019 from

(6) (2019, June 2). Why Some Countries Are Shipping Back Plastic Waste. BBC News.  Retrieved June 4, 2019 from

(7) Zhou, N. (2019, May 29). Malaysia to Send Up to 100 Tonnes of Plastic Waste Back to Australia. The Guardian. Retrieved June 1, 2019 from

(8) Brown, M. (2018, August 14). View the Fat: Museum of London Launches Live Stream of Fatberg. The Guardian. Retrieved June 5, 2019 from

(9) Smithers, R. (2019, May 14). ‘Lunch on the Go’ Habit Generates £11bn Items of Packaging Waste a Year. The Guardian. Retrieved June 1, 2019 from


Comments 4

  1. This website currently does not have a blog titled Recycling so this comment is best served on this blog about waste.

    Supermarket shopping this week, I made a note to get the refill stuff they are advertising with big red sticky labels on the spray bottles purchased before.

    What was interesting was the cost was way high for the refill and so it was much cheaper to buy individual sprays as it made no sense.

    Is it that we have good intentions but we are nowhere on the front foot when it comes to saving waste as a world?

    Are the manufacturers wasting resources when their strategies are not aligned to their own business – example here of – offering the customer large volume size of refill in a pack and then right next to it offering special offer of the same product but much cheaper and using up more plastic.

    We have lost the plot and it’s high time we all started to admit that as things are not working and it is up to us all to say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

    Some on the other hand would be unaware and be shopping on auto-pilot, like I used to many years ago and would think “Ah, refill – that makes sense” and put it in the trolley and think no more about it, other than helping the planet.

    Today, being the savvy cookie that I am, I do look at prices and the cost per litre or whatever the ratio it is so I am not being fooled by prices and sizes. This way of clocking things has been something both myself and my partner have been doing for well over a decade and it makes perfect sense.

  2. South China Morning Post – 14th October 2019

    China Counts the Environmental Cost of its Construction Boom


    According to a report by a magazine that has links to state media, China’s rapid urbanisation has created a mountain of construction waste.

    Although 1.5 billion tonnes of construction waste is created every year, only 100 million tonnes are properly processed through disposal or recycling and even household rubbish gets more attention from local governments.

    In comparison, developed nations like the US and Japan recycle between 90 and 95 per cent of their construction waste.

    In major urban cities like Beijing and Shanghai, construction activity produces up to 30 million tonnes of waste a year, while across the country the sector accounts for about 40 per cent of all urban waste.

    At the same time, more than 7,000 hectares of arable land are being damaged every year as a result of construction activity.

    The reason for this expansion in construction is to help drive economic growth.

    Although the country has 70 disposal facilities capable of handling upwards of 1 million tonnes of construction waste a year, most of them are working at only about 50 per cent capacity.

    The problem, especially in major cities is only set to get worse.

    An official at China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural development said: “There is no unified plan for managing the long-term process of recycling construction waste.”

    If the country’s 70 disposal plants were operating at full capacity it would only be able to dispose of 70 million tonnes of construction waste – that leaves 1.43 billion tonnes of construction waste clogging up the land, creating an eyesore and damaging Mother Earth.

    China is the third largest county in the world, by area (3,747,877 square miles), but is the most populated country in the world (1.42 billion). In comparison, the UK has 93,784 square miles and a population of over 67 million.

    Is it possible that with these figures, the construction waste is only going to increase in size every year?

    Is it possible that there is a lack of responsibility here, in creating all of this waste when it is well known that the facilities for the disposal of this waste is not good enough?

    How do we dispose of this excess waste –

    Do we build more recycling centres?
    Do we send the waste overseas and burden other countries?
    Do we just leave it piled up to become a health hazard?
    Do we bury it in landfill?
    Do we dump it in the oceans?

    Whatever solution we find, our planet is still the one that will suffer the most.

    Our planet will be the one that is contaminated and this will need to be dealt with at some point.

    Is it possible that the intention to drive up economic growth will cost the country even more money, because we have to find other ‘solutions’ to rid ourselves of this waste?

  3. Reuters World News – 31 October 2019


    Indonesia’s environment ministry said it would report countries to the Basel Convention – an International treaty on waste reduction, if they refused to accept waste shipments sent back to them by its authorities.

    A report has confirmed that waste sent back from Indonesia has ended up mostly in other Asian emerging economies.

    How have we got to this point where there is illegal traffic of waste?
    How are we going to criminally charge countries where containers are redirected elsewhere?

    After China banned imports of waste from western countries last year, Southeast Asian countries are taking on the job but they are simply not equipped to do so.

    Indonesia struggles to deal with its own waste which often goes into landfills or is dumped in rivers. It is the 2nd biggest contributor of plastic pollutants in the ocean after China according to a study in the journal Science in 2015.

    So we have a 911 when it comes to Our World and Our Waste.
    This story confirms a microcosm of what is going on and we have no solution.

    What we know is that this earth has limited resources but our throwaway culture and want it now society living means waste is going to be climbing up the agenda to address.

    We are no where near having a real infrastructure for our waste and this goes across all countries.

    ADD to that the irresponsible way the masses are living today and we should not be surprised that we have so much waste that we want it shipped out elsewhere – no on our land, thank you.

    How is that going to really work?

    We want to continue living as we do – read this blog again for more insight – but we do not want to even think about where our waste goes, where it ends up and what then?

    How do we feel when we bang on about climate change and rally and campaign for saving the earth’s resources yet we seem to be ok with so many areas of our lives where we are super waste-full?

    What if we made some serious lifestyle choices and start with a STOP in the excess department?

    One example –
    Over buying and over consuming what we really do not need to eat and all those takeaway containers that pile up and the rest…

    What if we start by just doing our bit with our common sense hat on?

    Could that have a ripple effect or are we one of those who will keep going until we are made to stop in some way or another?

    Our 911 waste issue is now in our face, yet very few of us seem concerned or even bothered about it.

    What does that really tell us about the intelligence of our species?

    Are we really intelligent if we are causing harm to the planet we enhouse?

  4. The Telegraph – 7th November 2019

    Fly Tipping Hits 10-year High.

    Fly tipping has reached a 10-year high in England as campaigners warn the problem may have been fuelled by confusion over complex waste disposal rules.

    According to the department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), councils have reported a staggering 1,072,000 incidents of illegal dumping in 2018/19, reaching the highest level since 2008/09.

    Nearly two thirds of cases involved household rubbish and mostly feature waste abandoned on roads and pavements, prompting suggestions the offending was linked to the bin policy of councils.

    One environment charity said the public were increasingly struggling to understand the correct bins to use for different types of rubbish and some may have resorted to fly tipping. An analysis revealed that we face an array of 58 recycling symbols when it comes to disposing of our shopping products.

    The Local Government Association (LGA), claimed that recycling was too complicated with “unclear” labels, seeing too much reusable waste going to landfills.

    The charity’s chief executive said” “Our fly tipping research in London suggests that many people are struggling to manage their waste correctly and are overwhelmed in particular by the amount of cardboard and plastic packaging coming into their homes and this may contribute to the problem, as people put out extra bags of waste, alongside their bins, not realising that this is, in reality, fly tipping. She added that fly tipping had reached “epidemic levels” and a national programme was needed to educate the public on the “dangers and costs” of the problem.

    The DEFRA figures showed more than 600,000 of the fly tipping cases in the past year involved household rubbish, ranging from black bags to house and shed clearances.

    Rubbish illegally dumped included tens of thousands of incidents of demolition and construction waste, white goods such as fridges, garden waste and electrical items.

    Fly tipping is defined as the illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it.

    When we think of fly tipping, we normally think about the van or truck loads of waste that is just dumped in a field or lane, but it is clear from this report that the figure of over 1 million incidents of fly tipping is not what we would typically think it to be.

    The majority of these incidents appear to be local residents putting out more waste than they are supposed to and also the bin policy of councils not being adequate.

    Having said that, it has been well known and well advertised that we are not allowed to have more waste or recycling in the bins than they can take and indeed, I have heard that some councils insist that the lid of the waste bins must be closed.

    Yes, maybe the councils could and should make their policies clearer but is it possible that we can’t keep blaming the systems when things go wrong?

    If there is any doubt, the information we need is found easily enough via websites or a quick phone call.

    At what point do we start to take responsibility?

    Whatever form it comes in, whether by accident or design, fly tipping is ugly, unsightly and has potential health concerns.

    We are the ones responsible for creating all of this extra waste, so is it possible that we should take the necessary steps to dispose of the extra waste ourselves, rather than just leave it on the streets and rely on others to clear up our mess?

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