I currently live in Finland, which is one of the world´s most sparsely inhabited countries with a total population of 5.5 million. Finland is a country that can be proud of many things, including how for instance wastewater is being managed; purified and treated. Finland is actually one of the few countries in the world that does treat wastewater before dumping it back into the environment: the reason why Finnish tap water is clean and safe to drink.
Finland is also a country where recycling works very well: according to Statistics Finland, only around 10% of all municipal waste ends up in landfills. This is thanks to efficient recycling and waste recovery, for instance in the form of energy production. Finland now even has a National Waste Plan – towards a recycling society.
Dumping hazardous waste into the environment is an environmental crime in Finland. Learn more about the definition of environmental crimes here. Nonetheless and despite of well-organized recycling and waste management practices in the country, a part of the population seems to think that throwing garbage and waste into the environment is normal human behavior.
I am personally, as one of the world’s most networked female leaders and women (on social media), cleaning up at least 15 pieces of plastic and waste from the environment, 365 days a year. Waste thrown into our environment by children, teens and adults who do not know better than to harm the environment and to waste other people’s efforts and time.
No one pays me for cleaning up. I do it on a voluntary basis, because I feel ashamed for how stupid people pollute and damage our environment. If I can afford to spend my time cleaning up the environment after PIGS, you can do the same. At least do not throw your shit into the nature so I (and other people) do not have to clean up after you.
There are actually a number of movements and projects around the world to clean up for instance ocean plastic and ocean trash, an example of which is The Ocean Cleanup. In addition to similar large-scale projects, a number of grassroot activists such as PADI divers have a habit of cleaning up both beaches and seas on diving trips. Why not do the same on land, in forests and in cities?
The harsh truth is: if ALL people were smart enough not to dump their waste into the environment, we would not need to clean up after ignorant human beings. There are even countries such as Singapore, where throwing any waste into the environment is forbidden. Why not impose similar legislation around the world, just to ensure that we do not soon drown in garbage such as plastic on this planet?