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Steps to Avoid a Global Wasteland

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Steps to Avoid a Global Wasteland

supriya-sen-mckinsey-alum-singapore

Supriya Sen shares a stark reminder on the importance of reducing waste. 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, when I read last week about ongoing public consultations by NEA on whether “plastic carry-bags in some NTUC grocery outlets in Singapore should charge 5- 10 cents/ bag from mid-2023…” onwards. (link).

Like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic … or throwing bits of candy into the maw of a charging, hungry tiger to stave him off from gulping you down in one bite!

Meanwhile figures show that the pandemic has led to further huge generation of medical waste worldwide.

This is unreasonably burdening existing systems, already staggering to manage their BAU waste.

By now it has become evident to all that our consumption habits, production habits, and waste-generating habits in every sphere of activity have caused untold harm to the environment- and society as a whole having to pay the price. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, as we hunker down in our own homes and neighborhoods, trying to battle wave after wave of variant striking country after country- it is that a radical new approach to design and policy is urgently needed, to ensure collective action that will actively and directly combat the problems of our post-industrial society. On the waste management front, instead of finding ways to manage the growing amounts of plastic waste, solutions should aim to generate less waste at the outset.

The good news is that there is greater consensus about the need for change. But the “sustainability” discussions are nascent and can easily become a case of “too little, too late”. A complete overhaul and reworking, systemic policy change to nudge behavior change at an individual, company and society-wide level, is an urgent priority. There is no room now for incrementalism, or making colossal errors in policy as may have been OK in an earlier time.

Key points include:

  • Cradle to cradle solution
  • Biological and technological nutrients
  • Customers not consumers

Read the full article, Waste generation – at our own Peril, on LinkedIn.