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With the rise in standard of living and income, rapid industrialization and commercialization around the globe and production of more and new items of convenience is responsible for the emergence of many disposable items that have become so common in our every daily life but which are actually an environmental burden. We seldom get time to think what convenience these items are providing and how adversely are they affecting our fragile environmental resources.
The waste quantities in all parts of the world are increasing many folds. In the past three decades, the waste quantities have almost been doubled. The per capita waste generation is alarmingly high especially in GCC countries. The municipal and governmental authorities have to spend huge resources in collection, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of these wastes. With limited recycling facilities and absence of reusing culture, more quantities of the waste is now to be managed.
Major part of our municipal waste is still heading towards our landfill sites where it is being dumped, compacted and covered. The landfills are in quarries areas which are becoming soon filled up with the waste. In Bahrain almost 1.7 cum of space is required to accommodate 1 tons of waste.
Despite a growing push to recycle and reuse, we must try to correct not the symptoms but the disease, and to do that, we should all avoid and reduce. Use of ‘disposables’ have increased many a times in recent years and the items and quantities are increasing with each passing day. Here are some suggestions to follow:
•Avoid Paper Cups & Plates as paper manufacturing consume trees and are bleached white with chlorine, a process that releases Dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals on the planet, and emit methane, a greenhouse gas when trashed and thrown in a landfill.
•Avoid Polystyrene & Styrofoam which are hazardous, carcinogens, cause air pollution and can cause nervous system impairments among workers. Styrene can leach from containers into our food. Polystyrene cannot be recycled and never biodegrades; it only breaks down into smaller pieces, polluting the environment and harming the animals that mistake it for food.
•Avoid Bottled Water and use reusable containers for water storage and drinking.
• Avoid Plastic and Paper Shopping Bags. Keep your own cloth bag ready for all occasions.
•Avoid Plastic Utensils, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, forks, spoons and knives. Use chinaware or glassware instead.
•Avoid Use rechargeable batteries instead of single use batteries.
•Avoid using disposable diapers and use cloth diapers.
•Using ink pen rather than ball points and getting a refillables.
•Using handkerchief rather than tissue and paper towels.
•Avoid using disposable stirrers and individually packaged sugar, milk and creamer. Use a spoon for stirring and place the sugar and milk in reusable containers or jugs.
•Avoid using individual sachets of chilly, mayonnaise or ketchup sauce. Store the sauce in reusable bottles and dispensers instead.
•Avoid Gift Wrapping and put the gift in a reusable bag instead..
Each time you throw something in the trash, please consider that you have paid its cost and are contributing towards more waste at the landfill.
Avoid disposables- Be wise and environmental friendly.
Head, Waste Disposal Unit, Supreme Council for Environment, Bahrain (Email: email@example.com)
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of this newspaper.)
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