By Faranak Bakhtiari

Let’s clean up the world: “We are the first one to be hurt”

September 15, 2021 - 17:57

TEHRAN – Waste production is an integral part of urban life, which is turning into a huge problem that will first and most hurt those who produced them. So that, on World Cleanup Day, let’s rid the planet of trash.

Although urbanization has affected human society and created many problems in both developed and underdeveloped countries, the developed ones have a plan for waste management and recycle a large part of it, and underdeveloped countries leave waste in nature, which will be the detriment of the environment and their health.

Per capita waste production in European countries is 300 to 350 grams, and in Iran, it is 700 grams and sometimes up to one kilogram, which unfortunately a very small part of it is separated and recycled.

With an average per capita of 700 grams to 1 kg, Iranians produce more than 50,000 tons of waste per day, which is basically twice the world standard.

This situation is worse in the capital city of Tehran so that the per capita waste production in Tehran is 750 to 800 grams per person daily. In fact, every Tehraner produces about 5 times their own weight of waste every year.

The environment is a global issue, and if something happens to it in one corner of the world, its effect will show itself in another part of the world in a few years, so the process of environmental degradation by over-production of waste has become worrisome.

In fact, the sheer volume of waste has led to the creation of the seventh continent in the world, which means that waste in the western United States and the western Pacific off the coast of Hawaii has created an area that is now 3.5 million square kilometers.

Increasing by 10 percent annually, this area has become one of the major environmental challenges in the world, endangering 280 species of birds and aquatic animals and killing more than 1 million birds and aquatic species annually.

This situation is worrying in the world, hence an environmental campaign called Clean Up the world, which consists of various associations around the world was formed in 1993 as an association approved and supported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The campaign annually brings together about 35 million volunteers from 130 countries as one of the largest environmental gatherings in the world. However, it is now somewhat limited due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Since the world's first cleanup campaign in 1993, millions of volunteers have made amazing progress.

According to statistics, about 8,000 tons of waste is produced daily in Tehran, nearly 17 percent of which is recycled, and the rest is landfilled, while in the developed world 70 percent of the waste is recycled and 30 percent is buried.

Many countries have been so successful that some even claim to reduce waste to zero by 2030, and some are looking to generate energy from waste.

In Iran, it requires the promotion of a culture that must begin in schools, or governments must adopt incentive and punishment systems to reduce waste production and make separation at source into a culture among Iranian families.

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