FreeWord – Waste
Hi folks! This will be the first article for my weekly FreeWord series, where we will briefly discuss one of the topic problems in the world. Enjoy!
Driven by rapid urbanization and growing populations, the world’s most troublesome waste problem is increasing. Without urgent action, the global annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050 (source). In other words, drastic actions are needed. We have forgotten what matters most – securing the ecosystem we are living in.
“The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost.” – Lord Of The Rings
Most of us know that eco-friendly products can be made from scratch or from recycled materials. Despite the dramatic increase in environmental awareness, this hardly reflects everyday life in most of the places on earth. Technology itself can’t save us unless we are willing to support it. The problem lies deep in people’s attitude and respect towards nature, in this money-centered world we live in.
If we look at the top countries of recycling, children learn about these things at school. In addition, parents set an example and from there it eventually becomes a habit for themselves. To get a better idea, check out the video from Sweden below. There’s a lot of things that need to change before we can get to this point worldwide, and this all starts with us setting an example for others and the next generation.
Blockchain & Recycling
There are a few recycling programs on the blockchain that encourage participation by giving a financial reward in exchange for depositing recyclables like plastic bottles. Also, the technology makes it easy for transparency and tracking the amount of materials recycled, cost and profit. This evaluates the impact of each participant in the program. Plastic Bank is one project that enables the exchange of old plastic items for money or services in third world countries. Recycle To Coin is an app that provides a token reward for returning plastic containers using automated machines.
The biggest form of waste is plastic which is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. These qualities have led to our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral for increased over-consuming. Discarding, littering and polluting has become a combination of lethal nature. Nonetheless, there are still the right things happening in the war against plastic waste and hopefully we will start to see more government level action, such as Kenya’s recent ban on plastic bags, which sets a good example.
I assume that you readers have heard about the trash island that is twice the size of a Texas. Unfortunately, this Great Pacific garbage patch is not a fairytale. However, it is great that organizations like The Ocean Cleanup and 4ocean have emerged to develop advanced technologies to get rid of the world’s oceans of plastic.
I wonder how far we need to push our planet and its resources before the environment becomes our first priority. I truly hope we won’t pass the point of no return. Let’s praise the blockchain technology as it encourages people and institutions to adopt environmental practices such as supply change management. It helps to prevent waste inefficiency fraud and unethical practices by making supply chains more transparent. This gives better information to the customer about how each product has been made so that they can make more environmentally friendly choices.
More and more leading green companies are becoming zero-waste companies. Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages redesign so that all products are reused. The process is similar to the way resources are reused in nature. Hopefully, we will witness widespread adoption of this philosophy among all companies worldwide.
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