How can we, as citizens of India, contribute to its waste management strategy?

Waste Management

India produces nearly 60 million tonnes of garbage in a year. Alarmingly, this value will likely increase by about 165 million tonnes by 2030. This data brings out the facts and truth to light which paves the way to rethink and channel waste management in a better manner before it’s too late!

The rise of development and technology has led to the planet’s exploitation and made us more dependent on it for our survival. Along with this, economic growth puts pressure on the environment and jeopardizes it. A perfect saying by Mahatma Gandhi, “Nature produces enough for peoples’ needs but not for their greed” fits these reasons very well.

Unfortunately, the consequences of misusing mother nature started to surface these days. One ideal example is climate change and its inevitable impacts.

Additionally, the country is facing several challenges due to rapid industrialization and mechanization, which sparked the use of disposable goods as well as plastic packaging materials that are not biodegradable. Startlingly, more than 75% of the waste created is left untreated and just dumped into landfills. Hence, we need to act fast and take immediate action to streamline the waste management method to prevent further environmental degradation.

India’s waste management rules are based on the principles of “sustainable development”, “precaution”, and “polluter pays” – which are pretty self-explanatory. However, the waste management pathway is shifting its focus towards waste-to-energy (WTE) solutions lately to achieve sustainability as generating wastes are unstoppable.

Whatever the government formulates, we citizens are majorly responsible for abiding the implemented rules and regulations. Moreover, how should we people be sensible about it on a daily basis?

Plastic wastes take about 1000 years to decompose. Also, when dumped they emit greenhouse gas which are a menace to the environment. Hence, try to minimize the plastic usage like carrying bags for shopping, using vintage ink pens and paper cups, etc.

Segregation of improper waste is simply tiring. Therefore, use the color coded bins appropriately for disposing waste – biodegradable and non-biodegradable – which in turn reduces the garbage burden greatly and curbs the pollution level.

Embrace composting. They have the ability to reduce household waste creation by 30%. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has made significant contributions in spiking the compost conversion. So, use the composting method in a viable way.

Paper wastes account for about 35% junk in landfills. Henceforth, reduce the consumption of paper products unless necessary and think of creative solutions as an alternative like kitchen towel instead of paper napkins, reusable tumblers and plates, instead of paper-made ones, and so on.

Implement 3 R’s – Reduce, reuse and recycle everyday. Abundant internet resources are available about waste management. Spare a few minutes each day and explore it. The dire need of sustainable change is highly crucial at the moment.

Did you know? Used cooking oil we disperse regularly has a great demand for sustainable fuel production especially biodiesel. Hereafter, ensure to be aware and lookout for any collection ecosystem around you for contribution.

Today we are at a tight spot. Transforming the government policy framework into reality is in the hands of us – citizens. Technology advancement towards decentralized waste processing is evolving full-fledgedly as a saying, but not enough. One emerging approach like using collected debris as feedstock is growing gradually, but unorganized. At last, a very concerning fact is the ignorance and lack of awareness among people on current waste management scenarios.

All these mentioned challenges must be addressed at latest and should include practices that create a circular economy in the waste management field at every single step going forward.

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