Is Recycling a Priority? 3 Ways to Boost Recycling Efforts in Expanding Economies

Is Recycling a Priority? 3 Ways to Boost Recycling Efforts in Expanding Economies

Where is plastic pollution most prevalent? 

Unfortunately, waste management isn’t handled with the same level of commitment around the world. In fact, plastic pollution is a much bigger issue in developing Asian and African communities since recycling efforts are either limited due to financial constraints or non-existent altogether. Countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are a few of the world’s top plastic consumers yet they have no solid plans in place for recycling. This creates a growing problem and places a larger burden on surrounding communities. Along with China, they produce up to 60% of the world’s plastic waste leaking into oceans and surrounding waterways. All of these countries realize that future policies must be treated with urgency and given priority. This being said, there are a few, simple ways to help to fix this growing issue. 

3 Recycling Efforts Happening for Emerging Economies

  1. Increase Public Awareness
  • Once the public becomes aware of the hazardous effects of plastic pollution, public organizations can begin to form. Amazing efforts have been made in years past by activist groups for mass clean-ups and helping to share knowledge with others.
      2. Create Funds for Recycling Policies to Become the Norm
  • Lack of infrastructure and policies is a major issue in developing countries due to obvious financial constraints. How can this be overcome? Encouraging major companies and organizations to donate and create funds is one of the main efforts. This may seem like an impossible task but according to SustainAbility Trends 2020, it’s already happening. 

“In an effort to remove financing as a barrier to improved infrastructure, Circulate Capital launched a $106 million fund dedicated to preventing plastic from entering Asian oceans. The Circulate Capital Ocean Fund will provide both debt and equity financing to waste management, recycling, and circular economy start-ups and SMEs in South and Southeast Asia focused on preventing plastic pollution.” 

       3. Focusing on the Benefits over the Difficulties
  • The benefits far surpass the difficulties: properly supported and organized, informal, and form recycling programs will begin to form. Once set-up, employment opportunities will surface, local market competitiveness in the war against plastic pollution will rise, poverty will be reduced, and a great decrease in municipal spending will help ease the burden financially.

Sources: Published by SustainAbility: Trends 2020 case studies in 2020 

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