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.

OUR WASTE

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

China
Japan
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.

Hello

SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT

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)

Hello

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?

 

References

(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
https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/about/air-pollution

(3) (n.d). How Air Pollution is Destroying Our Health. World Health Organization. Retrieved June 4, 2019 from
https://www.who.int/air-pollution/news-and-events/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health

(4) (n.d). Environmental Impacts. Green Choices. Retrieved June 4, 2019 from
https://www.greenchoices.org/green-living/waste-recycling/environmental-impacts

(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
https://news.sky.com/story/malaysia-to-return-3-000-tonnes-of-plastic-waste-to-uk-and-other-countries-11729886

(6) (2019, June 2). Why Some Countries Are Shipping Back Plastic Waste. BBC News.  Retrieved June 4, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-48444874

(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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/29/malaysia-to-send-up-to-100-tonnes-of-plastic-waste-back-to-australia

(8) Brown, M. (2018, August 14). View the Fat: Museum of London Launches Live Stream of Fatberg. The Guardian. Retrieved June 5, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/aug/14/view-the-fat-museum-of-london-launches-live-stream-of-fatberg

(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
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/14/lunch-on-go-habit-generates-11bn-items-packaging-waste-year-uk

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