The true and catastrophic scale of environmental damage is becoming clearer by the day. It is absolutely vital that we act immediately to clean up and preserve what we have left, and protect the future of our planet. Scientists, environmental leaders, and even schoolchildren (representing the generation who will have to deal with the worst excesses of our environmental legacy) are all calling for urgent action to be taken by everyone, now.
In this spirit, our own Ranjit Baxi, founding president of the Global Recycling Foundation has issued a statement exhorting people, governments, and corporations around the world to take recycling seriously. While he applauds current efforts, he warns that “to date, the steps which have been made remain small, and crucially time is not on our side.”
“We are simply paying lip-service to recycling”, Mr Baxi says, and this lack of commitment to thinking resource not waste is “barely making any impact in rectifying the damage we have already caused”.
Recycling has enormous potential to not just alter the future of the planet, but to change the way we view ‘waste’. By transforming the things we throw away into new products, manufacturing industries can become self-sustaining. By reframing what we currently consider ‘waste’ as a valuable resource, we can eradicate our problem with litter pollution and reduce much of the need for us to plunder the planet’s natural resources.
However, as Mr Baxi says, “Unless producers and recyclers work together to streamline processes, educating the world on the manifest benefits of recycling will remain a near impossible task”.
Humanity has consumed more resources in the last 50 years than in the entirety of our previous history. If we want to reverse the damage this has caused, reports indicate that we have just twelve years to do so. Not for our own sakes, but for the sakes of our children and their children.
“Governments, NGOs, private and public businesses, environmentalists, economists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and disruptors must band together to find new solutions, and new solutions fast”, Mr Baxi concludes.
“Together, we can make a difference”.