The Plastic Problem

THE PLASTIC PROBLEM

Switzerland as an example

aarau

Source: www.markstein.ch

Strictly speaking, it is not an isolated plastic problem – even though most environmental problems on land and in water are due to the degradation resistance of plastic – but an overarching waste disposal problem. A comparison with Switzerland should make this clear.
Waste separation begins in the household and public collection and disposal points also have the option of waste separation (glass, paper, metal, etc.). The household waste is regularly collected by the public sector and processed in an environmentally friendly way in the waste incineration plant. Households contribute to the financing of this system by paying taxes and purchasing waste bags.

Challenges for Cambodia

Such organization and disposal facilities are lacking in many parts of Cambodia, both in urban and rural areas. However, the circumstances in Cambodia are not comparable to those in Switzerland, especially with regard to the level of economic development.
In order to solve the (plastic) waste problem, organizational measures ("Our Community Programme") must be combined with technical measures ("How we turn plastic into oil") that are financially viable for Cambodia. This can prevent the plastic waste from ending up in disordered landfills or being incinerated in an uncontrolled manner, thus polluting the air, land and water – often with direct risks to people, animals and the environment.
Single primitive wooden house in the tropical rural countryside in the southern part of Cambodia

THE PLASTIC
PROBLEM

  • In many places, there is a lack of any proper waste management system. As a result, the plastic ends up uncontrolled on green spaces and in the water and, finally, in the oceans.
  • In order to reduce the complex problems associated with plastic to the environment, it is urgently necessary to solve this problem at different levels and with different actors, following the principle of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

Source: UNDP Cambodia (click image to read the full article)

Strictly speaking, it is not an isolated plastic problem – even though most environmental problems on land and in water are due to the degradation resistance of plastic – but an overarching waste disposal problem. A comparison with Switzerland should make this clear.

Waste separation begins in the household and public collection and disposal points also have the option of waste separation (glass, paper, metal, etc.).

The household waste is regularly collected by the public sector and processed in an environmentally friendly way in the waste incineration plant. Households contribute to the financing of this system by paying taxes and purchasing waste bags.

Such organization and disposal facilities are lacking in many parts of Cambodia, both in urban and rural areas. However, the circumstances in Cambodia are not comparable to those in Switzerland, especially with regard to the level of economic development.

In order to solve the (plastic) waste problem, organizational measures (“Our Community Programme”) must be combined with technical measures (“How we turn plastic into oil”) that are financially viable for Cambodia. This can prevent the plastic waste from ending up in disordered landfills or being incinerated in an uncontrolled manner, thus polluting the air, land and water – often with direct risks to people, animals and the environment.