India is lagging far behind when it comes to waste management. The government, the producers, and the consumers are all responsible for this. Germany is one of the most commendable countries in the league of sustainability. It has a recycling rate of 70%, and by the year 2020, Germany plans to find a way to recycle 100% of its waste. Here are a few things we can learn from such countries.
1. Designing manufacturing processes such as to eliminate wastefulness: Policies and laws should be formulated by the government to encourage producers to design their manufacturing processes keeping elimination of waste in mind. Waste that can’t be avoided should be recycled or converted to energy. Lastly, waste that can’t be recycled should be disposed off in an environmentally safe way.
2. Making the packaging eco-friendly: According to Germany’s Packaging Ordinance, all manufacturers are required to collect and then recycle or reuse their packaging after it is disposed of by consumers. Making corporations responsible for their packaging to the end of its life cycle encourages them to package goods with fewer materials in order to minimize recycling and disposal costs. Similar laws should be implemented in India.
3. Implementing policies wherein the polluter is held responsible: The concept in which private companies are responsible for eliminating waste and for covering the costs is described as the “polluter pays” principle, i.e. those who create the waste are responsible for cleaning up the mess. It is better than the “consumer pays” concept where waste management is funded by taxpayers.
4. Installing more trash bins: More and more trash containers should be installed in cities to encourage people to dump their trash in bins rather than open areas. A proper collection system should also be there so that the trash doesn’t keep lying in the containers.
5. Creating awareness: For a country like India, this is the most crucial step. People need to be made aware of the consequences of irresponsible waste management, and also the need and benefits of recycling.
Together we can make India a cleaner and greener place. Have a happy weekend!