Realistic solutions needed on trash issue
Clearly, the developed world needs to do more about how we dispose of our trash. Just as obviously, the United States, often cited as the chief villain in that regard, is far from alone.
For years, much of the plastic waste disposed of by prosperous countries — even much of that officials claimed was being recycled — was being shipped to landfills in China. But in 2018, that nation’s officials said they were tired of being the world’s landfill. They banned new imports of plastic waste.
That sent disposal companies scrambling for alternative destinations. One of them was Malaysia. But this week, it was reported that country too has had enough.
Beginning late last year, Malaysian officials started shipping containers of plastic waste back to the countries of origin.
Since the crackdown began, 150 containers of plastic trash have been rejected. Interestingly enough, the United States was far from the biggest offender. Of the 150 containers, 43 went back to France, 42 were sent home to the United Kingdom and just 17 were returned to the United States.
Another 110 containers of plastic waste will be sent back to countries of origin later this year.
Expect more countries to follow that lead. For too long, consumers in the developed world have been lied to by public officials claiming that recycling programs are “green” solutions to waste. Until more honest, realistic approaches are adopted — by many countries, not just ours — it is little wonder that some less prosperous nations are rebelling.