Posted 03/26/2020 in Category 1 by Peter Auwerx

Earth Day 2018; We need to Act Now …


Earth Day 2018; We need to Act Now …

On this, Earth Day 2018, I would like to ask you, to stop all activity for one minute, look at our world and see how people have treated it up till now …

The question that comes to my mind is; “How did we get ourselves in this situation?

The Past

In Yesterday’s world, we discovered how to create plastic. At first, plastic had just a limited use for specialized solutions in industry...

... but step by step plastic replaced other materials in our daily life; in our kitchen, in our living room, in our bathroom, in our clothing, in our transport, in our environment…

Plastic became the preferred material for ‘Every Day Life’; easy to buy, easy to use and easy to throw away…

The present

In Today’s world, we are confronted with the legacy of our “Throw Away Society” …

Years of neglect have created a society where littering, dumping waste in forests, fields and seas has become accepted. Society in general tries every way to avoid responsibility for the environment.

Every day, the news is full of stories about plastic pollution in our seas and oceans. Plastic particles have been found in our bottled water, in our tap water and plastic fibers have been found in our food.

Ship loads of waste plastic used to be sent, from the UK and other countries, to China for recycling. But recently, China announced that they would stop accepting this waste plastic.

This has created a crisis in the plastic recycling sector in the UK, where plastic must now be stored until a solution has been found.

People came up with some not so clever ideas;

Plastic waste should be stored in landfill sites until it can be mined, according to the government’s chief environment scientist. Ian Boyd said that landfill could be a better solution than incineration for waste because it could be dug out a later date and turned back into a useful product. He was speaking as it emerged that the recycling industry is exploring the idea of storing plastic in landfill sites to cope with the impact of China’s recent ban on most waste imports.”

Source; The Times

Or some clever solutions;

 “Wouldn’t it be great if no household waste was wasted? If each and every item of refuse was turned into something else – new products, raw materials, gas or at least heat? Sweden is almost there. More than 99 per cent of all household waste is recycled in one way or another. This means that the country has gone through something of a recycling revolution...”

Source; The Swedish Recycling Revolution

The Future

In Tomorrow’s world, we will need to change our way of thinking. We must accept our responsibility for the environment.

 If we look forward to the future we have some urgent tasks to complete, but the positive news is that some of us have already started with good initiatives.

The Ocean Clean-up is a Dutch organization that has been working on ways to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Project 0 is a global movement supported by renowned scientists, business leaders, celebrities, campaigners, ocean experts and individuals, who are all working together to restore and protect the oceans.

What can I do?

I have been working on a large campaign to reach out to all people involved in the Circular Economy. During the last couple of weeks I had phone calls with people in several European countries, to explore how I could help to start local projects or support existing projects.

Next to that I have reached out to local organizations to get involved in the creation of events to spread the word about Circular Economy. I will keep you informed about the coming events in my articles.

What can you do?

Start a campaign in your neighborhood to clean up the litter from the roads, forests, fields and rivers. I know, it will look like a never-ending task, but if everyone of us would pick up an empty bottle or an empty can, every day, and drop it in the bin, our world would start to become a cleaner place.

Evaluate

On the next Earth Day, in 2019, the time will come to look back and evaluate what you have done to make the world a cleaner place. Make sure you have something to show.

Peter Auwerx, Bookingbox