Pollution is affecting every living thing on our planet. Not only are we the cause of the waste we produce but we are also the propagators. However, we are the same species who can rethink pollution and make a difference. If we have the ability to produce waste we also have the ability to eliminate it in the best way possible which will not harm any species; plant, animals, bacteria, fungi alike.
Every year, many species ingest plastic or got entangled in it. Researchers have identified that 400 animal species are affected by plastic waste. We have seen whales float to beaches only to be opened up and found with plastic waste. Birds have been found with plastics in their guts. Many other animal species are washed to bays having being strangled by plastics. Prey that ends up feeding on these animals also ingest the plastics. Furthermore, this reduces the population of species as they will face immature death. Water pollution is also a disaster where clean drinking water is being contaminated by pollutants from human and animal waste, mining activities, fertilizer and pesticides from homes and farms, industrial wastes, hazardous wastes generated by industries and gas stations, landfills and improperly disposed-of household wastes. We cannot forget to mention air and soil pollution which are affecting our health status as a species.
Majority of what fills up our landfills is solid waste. Solid waste is basically composed of waste tires or rubber, sewage, scrap metal, latex paints, furniture and toys, garbage such as food waste and daily household waste, appliances and vehicles, oil, empty aerosol cans, paint cans and compressed gas cylinders, construction and demolition debris and asbestos. Some of these end up on our streets and green spaces especially single-use plastic items such as plastic bags, cups, plates and cutlery.
A revolution has been born every year on September 15; the designated day for World Cleanup Day since 2008. Millions of volunteers all across the world unite to clean the world in a single day. Nearly 20 million people from around the globe have joined the Let’s Do It! World movement. Let’s Do It! World believes in the power of ordinary people to make a difference to the issue of waste. The movement connects and empowers citizens, companies and governments to clean up their cities of mismanaged waste, such as litter and illegal waste dump sites.
This is a step forward towards creating awareness on how much waste we produce. It creates a changing shift towards enlightening every human being on our daily habits and how making small changes can ensure a clean and green planet for everyone. Instead of being the end of ourselves we can build each other. We only have this one planet, living with other species.
World Cleanup Day is not just a day to clean our cities collectively, it is a day to create awareness and ensure as a human species we monitor our use and consumption as outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 12. It’s also a chance to ensure governments, companies and corporations implement their waste management projects.