The earth is a dump, literally. Did you know that if you combine the amount of waste and garbage that we as humans produce, it would amount to more than 1 billion tons yearly! To put that into digestible numbers, that’s the equivalent of 1,000,000,000,000 kilograms. That’s right, 1 TRILLION kilograms. Well, if we want to be more accurate, according to research done, the numbers are a little bit greater than that. Studies show that the earth’s population produces approximately 1.17 trillion kilograms per year of garbage in a single year.
If those numbers aren’t alarming for you to take action, it won’t be long before we’ll have a crisis on our hands. This, of course, won’t happen within the next 10-20 years, but if we put it into perspective, the amount of trash that we’ve produced over the last 100 years equals more than 90% of the amount of trash that’s ever been made since the beginning of time. Now think about that for a minute. Isn’t it crazy?
So why exactly have we been producing so much trash just this past century? Well, the answer to that would be the invention and large scale usage of plastic! Think about it, if you look around you, everything is made out of plastic. Everything from your laptop to your water bottle is made out of plastic. In prehistoric times, although they might have produced rubbish, it’s mainly in the form of biodegradable ones. Let’s say, for example, 500 years ago. People would hunt their food down, cook it, eat it, and the leftovers would rot and disintegrate into the earth.
The industrial sector also plays a big role in this. They pollute the earth just as much, if not more. Let’s take an oil spill for example. With an oil spill, it’ll make our water undrinkable, the earth infertile, and so on. Guess what? The main ingredient in making plastic products is petroleum / oil.
So what exactly can we do about it? For the industrial sector, the best way to handle waste management is through hiring companies specializing in environmental services. For us at home, the best way to clean up our act is through proper waste management. Waste management means better handling of the waste or garbage that we create. Waste management can be broken down into collection, transportation, sorting, recycling, and disposal. After sorting out things that are recyclable, the garbages which are not recyclable are then move to the next step which is disposal. The most common method of disposal is through landfill. We should also properly sort out our garbage ourselves. By using separate sorting containers provided, such as the ones for batteries, plastic, paper, glass, and etcetera, we will contribute towards a cleaner environment.
Every single one of us plays a role in preserving our planet. Every single trash that you recycle will help make this world a cleaner place. Countries in Scandinavia such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are leaders in effective waste management. Let’s follow the example set by them and let’s preserve our planet for the future generations.