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As Modi Calls For Cutting Down Plastic-use, Here Are the Best Waste Management Practices From Across the Globe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest Mann ki Baat underscored the problem of waste while launching a "new mass movement" against single-use plastic from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.


Updated:August 26, 2019, 11:26 AM IST
As Modi Calls For Cutting Down Plastic-use, Here Are the Best Waste Management Practices From Across the Globe
Kusmani, a 55-year-old woman who has been a scavenger for more than 20 years, holds a used can as she sorts rubbish at Bangun village in Mojokerto, Indonesia. (Image: Reuters)

Waste remains a key problem for India and in his latest 'Man ki Baat', Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the problem and pitched for launching a "new mass movement" against single use plastic from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

In his monthly radio address 'Mann ki Baat', the Prime Minister said when the country observes the 150 birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, "we will launch a new mass movement against use of plastic". He also called for efforts to ensure proper collection and storage of plastic to save the environment.

In his Independence Day address too, Modi had urged citizens to eliminate single-use plastic and suggested that shopkeepers provide eco-friendly bags to customers. His push against single-use plastic is being seen as an effort to prevent environmental degradation.

News18 takes a look at some of the best and most innovative waste management practices from across the globe.

Recycling Waste

Germany has the best recycling rate in the world, followed by Austria, South Korea and Wales. These four countries recycle over half their municipal waste, according to Eunomia, an environmental consultancy group. The common factor, as per the report, is that these governments have made it easy for households to recycle waste, have provided good funding for recycling and financial incentives. The report also pointed out that these government had made clear performance targets for local governments to follow.

E-Waste in Colombia

Colombia became the first Latin-American country to launch a national policy for e-waste management in 2017. The policy established four fundamental objectives. Firstly, to educate consumers towards responsible consumption and to develop instruments to ensure that electrical and electronic equipment imported or produced in the country will be properly managed once they become waste. Thirdly, the strengthening of the national recycling industry and finally, to promote public-private partnership. The country sees around 2.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste generated every year.

Waste for Healthcare in Indonesia

Arguably, one of the most innovative approaches to waste management was the Garbage Clinical Insurance in Indonesia. The brainchild of award-winning healthcare entrepreneur Gamal Albinsaid, CEO of health company Indonesia Medika, it is health microinsurance program which uses garbage as financial resources. Community pay clinic service using garbage. This way the community mobilizes their own resources to improve health access and breakdown barrier between health facilities and community.

The Guardian reported that in Indonesia, a country where more than 10% live below the poverty line, "the scheme encourages low-income households to recycle their rubbish and uses the revenues to finance a health micro-insurance system." It added, "The scheme offers its members access to basic healthcare services in three clinics: two in Albinsaid’s hometown of Malang, East Java, and one near Jakarta. In total, the initiative counts about 600 rubbish-collecting members, who collect on average about 3kg of recyclable materials each per month, which nets them around 11,750IDR (£0.70) from commercial recyclers."

Waste Minimization in Singapore

For the small island nation of Singapore, with a population of over 4 million living across 697 square kilometers, waste was a crucial problem. While its waste-to-energy incineration plants and offshore sanitary landfill for disposal of non-combustible waste is often highlighted by policymakers, the real star in their waste management problem is their move towards waste minimization. The main portion of non-combustible waste for Singapore stemmed from construction waste, industrial sludge that had been stabilised and copper slag from margin industries. But over the years, much of this has been diverted. For instance, by 2005, the country was recycling almost 94 per cent of construction and demolition waste.

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