Why use and Throw, let's refill and reuse...!Mukund Kottawar
An Initiative to keep our Mother Earth Healthy
This world has been created by the creator so perfectly. Where all living entities can live happily. If we look at the eco-system, it’s being managed perfectly by nature. There are so many activities happening behind our eyes and it’s really amazing to learn nature. Trees has capability to generate their own food. No need for them to do any job; just joking…! Roots are capable of sucking water from soil, Soil is capable of providing all support and leafs are taking care of generating food. What an amazing eco-cycle?
Everyone know, 2/3rd portion of the earth is Water? It’s quite difficult to imagine but it’s a reality. Our ancestors were aware that, it’s round and hence it’s called as Bhu-Gola. Bhu means earth and Gola means round. Modern science realized this when they saw earth from long distance. << Please refer book ‘Bhu-Gola Tattava’ if any one need more details>>. Sea water is salty and hence no question of stinking, its fresh all the time. Today also waste water is being poured in ocean by many industries, still ocean is always clean. For sweet water; rivers and lakes are available. Really interesting part is, ocean water is getting evaporated and gathering in the form of clouds. Again it’s coming back to earth surface in the form of Rain Water…what’s an amazing science….technology too can convert salt water in to pure sweet drinking water, but it’s quite complex…. Yes, today also research is going on this topic and scientists are struggling to make this happened.
One thing is sure, it’s our responsibility to take care of mother earth or we will not have anything to give to our next to next generation. Children’s may die immediately after taking birth due to heavy pollution.
Can we allow to happen this? Definitely not.
It really makes sense to take some efforts to handover Green Mother Earth ‘As It Is’ to our Next Generation.
Western world focused much on ‘Use and Throw’ concept, the reason is; availability of resources and industrial revolution. The concept is not wrong but the way it has been executed is wrong.
What is correct?
In India as well, If we look at typical village style, they use leafs to place food, once they finish eating; they throw away the leaf. Important thing to understand here is, leaf and food both are decomposable. Hence it’s getting converted into fertilizer in the span for 21 days. If not, cattle’s eat it and its getting consumed without any wastage.
So doing something which is not hampering eco-cycle, hence this is perfectly fine.
What is not correct?
Doing something which impacts eco-system is definitely not correct. How come? Ex. Plastic plates are being used to keep food, once food is consumed, plastic is being thrown. Now plastic cannot decompose for years, as a result is makes place dirty. By mistake, if cattle eat this: They may die immediately. Anything which cannot decomposed, shall not be made as ‘Use and Throw’.
Consumables are something, which is consumed by people or machine etc. Ex. Petrol is consumable for vehicle, Shampoo is consumable for people to use. Cooking oil is consumable used for preparing food items etc. The thing to think is about packaging. What happens to package after consumable is being consumed? Most of the time, its being thrown in the garbage. Garbage is combination of so many things, hence it’s getting thrown outside of city boundary. Is it a right practice? Of course no. But the fact is, Piles of garbage is being created year after year and there is no plan to make use of that. We cannot afford to wait for happening its adverse effect on our health.
Yes, make supply chain management system to take care of wrapper or package used for packing consumables. For ex. Use durable water bottle and refill as and when required rather than buying new bottle all the time. Polythene usage for milk distribution is heavy. That polythene bags are not being decomposed. That should be collected properly and recycled. Otherwise, a day will come when we will not have place to keep garbage.
Earlier days, Utensils were made from iron or copper. Meaning there by, once their life is over, it’s being melted in the furnace and remake new utensils. No wastage as such. Another example is earthen pots. Majority of the work is being done in earthen pots, like cooking, water storage, keeping milk and curd etc. Now a days, invention of certain metals has replaced this. The danger is, todays utensils cannot be recycled. And hence, big question mark for recycling same.
As and how technology evolved, packaging industry is growing enormously. Many products are available, needs are increasing and hence demand in the market for products is also increasing day by day. Advertisement is adding fuel on this. Things which are optional, are also coming in the house with name of something called as discount.
Hybrid waste: Something which is combination of decomposable and non-decomposable items. For ex. Trouser, it may be made up of cotton but will have iron or plastic parts attached etc. Need to take major care which disposing as portion which is decomposable should be separated from the portion which is artificial and then take care of recycling same.
Natural: This is most important waste, this can be recycled or convert into fertilizer. This helps in maintaining eco system very well. For example. Trees converted to wooden blocks, into furniture. And on retirement, it can be converted to coal, and then use for energy generation. Even if one person is taking care of one tree, 150 Cr trees can be protected easily. Vegetable waste and fruit waste can be consumed by cows and buffalo’s.
Artificial: Chemical, plastic, fiber etc. are artificial material and hence cannot be decomposed naturally and if so it’s going to take long time. If you look at the road side, you will find plastics most of the time, why? Because other waste which is natural is being decomposed and dissolves in soil. Hence recycling process is vital for artificial waste and companies who are generating artificial products shall take care of this as well.
Think, beyond: The point to think is, if something is being thrown in dust bin, then think why it’s being produced? Why I bought this, if any way I am going to throw in dust bin? If we trace out entire life cycle of typical product, it’s depicted below.
Now a days shampoo is being used widely, majority of the people are using same. Since it was costly earlier, pouch concept has been launched and since then it became available right from rich people to poor family as well. The problem is, packaging waste. Shampoo bottles are waste for rich people and polythene pouch is a waste for poor. Have any product company thought about, How to stop this waste? Yes, there are many ways to stop this.
Consider that only 0.1% population in India is using shampoo bottle a month. If we consider 125 Cr population. Then In a year we are consuming 1.25 Cr. Bottles. It’s a huge waste. Similarly it will be multifold for pouches.
Solution-1: Create an outlet where Shampoo can be refilled. Packaging cost is quite high and hence it will be cheaper for consumer as well.
Solution-2: Design a bottle in such a way that, it can be refilled by paying just 50% of the amount once it’s being consumed. Majority of the people will opt this. Major benefit is, avoidance of wastage.
Solution-3: Force product companies to establish supply chain for recollecting empty bottles and reusing then to make new product package. Government can enforce some laws in this direction.
Solution-4: Product companies to use eco-friendly package. Which can be recycled easily or if thrown in dustbin i.e. it should get decomposed naturally.
Couple of consumables/products
2. Hair Oil
3. Hand wash liquid
4. Toilet Cleaner
<<A separate case study can be prepared on each product mentioned above>>.
Things to Ponder:
1. Let’s appreciate some of the stuff from Stone Age rather than criticizing. For ex. Utilizing earthen pots and leaf plates etc.
2. Think ‘Re-Fill and Re-Use’, rather than thinking ‘Use and Throw’.
3. Make two Dust-Bins. One is for ‘Natural’ waste, i.e. items which are decomposable and another is for ‘Artificial’ waste, i.e. items which are non-decomposable.
4. While throwing, see if you can find some way to reuse. For ex. Giving used clothes, electronic gadgets, devices etc. to needy people rather than throwing in dust bins.
5. Never think, utilizing more resources is a sign of progress , On the other way round making positive difference to mother Earth is a sign of ‘real progress’.
6. Minimize drainage to major extent and ensure than not a single drop of clean water is going in to drainage.* Yes, it’s fine to absorb same in the soil.
7. Say no to cut even single tree. Value trees, every tree is a valuable. Take care of them. Protect trees like Banyan, Pipal tree, Neem tree etc. They are factories of oxygen.
8. Encourage decomposable packaging rather than plastic or fiber packaging. If using Plastic or fiber, then collect it from end user after delivering product and take care of recycling them. Product Company can refund partial amount to end use for encouraging this.
9. End of Life Product Life cycle shall be design by Product Company and make mandatory for them to make provision for pick up the product and recycle them on its retirement. For. Ex. Average life of a mobile phone is 5 years, so each person is going to use at least 10-12 mobile devices in lifetime. The electronic scrap is huge. Company shall make arrangement to dispose this systematically.
Government may collect 15% for green charges and refund them after recycling successfully (Product company may pass on same benefits to end user as well).
10. Outlets are available to buy product and use it. Similarly Inlets should be started to collect outdated/retired products. Ex. Return shampoo bottle after its usage and refund green charges to consumer.
11. Start refill stations for consumables like shampoo, various oils, creams and pastes etc. Majority of the time package cost much is higher than consumable.
Think about Mother Earth before creating any product, Create something if it is really required, If created, then use it as much possible and dispose same well so that it will not hamper any one. Let’s make efforts to handover “Mother Earth As It Is” to our next generations to come.