This is not the future that we want.
After looking into the trash bin, I realised that most of the trash are made up of disposables, disposables that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Plastic cups, straws, cartons and the like are just thrown away after it has been used for a mere few minutes. Compared to the amount of energy and resources needed to make it, it is ridiculous how dependent we are on disposables.
However, I cannot blame anyone because it is convenient, quick and efficient. It is cheap and also provides us with comfort. Who would want to carry around heavy reusables? Wouldn’t it be easier to buy and then discard once it is not needed? No washing nor hassle needed.
I realised this after I become more conscious of the waste that I am producing. In Singapore, it is especially hard as everything is covered in plastic and there is no significant movement to reduce plastic waste anywhere. Aside from the iReject Straws campaign, there seemed to be no progress in terms of the use of disposables. Plastic and paper cups are still used in cafes and fast food restaurants, bottled water and drinks are everywhere etc. It is especially hard because we live in a society where the cheapest option is just to buy in plastic bottles and things that are wrapped in plastic wrappers. Everything is.
To go minimal waste is a struggle but to go zero waste is highly improbable. I mean after trying it out for a single day, I too find it hard to not produce any sort of waste whatsoever and to not produce waste means that I had to forgo convenience which is not something that I can afford in a rapid lifestyle that is Singapore. Furthermore, sometimes you just want to eat something and unfortunately, like EVERYTHING ELSE, it comes in a plastic packaging. Therefore, I feel that the more practical way to navigate this wastage dilemma in Singapore is to be more aware of the waste that we produce. Aside from the immense amount of paper waste we produce in schools to the food waste and packaging trash that we produce, what we can do is to be more aware to pick the minimal waste option. Bring reusables instead of opting for the disposable option. Bring bottles instead of buying bottled water. Dine in instead of take-out and there are many more ways for us to reduce wastage.
I am new to this journey and the struggles that I am facing is a struggle for many of the new adopters in this area. It might sometimes be awkward and it might sometimes be tough but we all have a stake in this which is to make the world a cleaner place.