Every year, millions of tons of garbage waste goes straight to the drains or the landfills. Our throwaway society is one of the clearest signs of Earth exploitation. This is due to the general assumption that we have an endless supply of resources that allows us to produce endless supply of waste and that it will go away on its own.
The government's recent efforts to ensure a better and cleaner environment should be supported by all. Campaigns to regulate the disposal of bottles and glassware have been launched. The current move to recycle aluminium cans is to be lauded. However, these campaigns are only confined to certain towns or states due to limited funds. Therefore, steps should be taken to ensure that these campaigns are adopted nationwide.
The private sector also plays an important role in ensuring a cleaner environment. Companies in Malaysia are going green to save the Earth for future generations. They are looking into environment-friendly ways to continue their business. For example, a plantation company has developed a technique known as "Zero Burning" where trees are felled, shredded and left to decompose. Thus, no burning is carried out, thereby contributing to a cleaner environment.
As for the public, more cooperation and understanding is needed to ensure that the garbage collection for recycling runs smoothly. Although the public may find it troublesome initially, sufficient information through the mass media should help in the long run. The public should also be taught how to use food scraps and garden matter to make a compost heap.
At the school level, some good work is being done through the collection of recyclable materials such as newspaper and bottles. Other projects include setting up of nature gardens or planting trees around the school compound. However, there is more to the environment than just teaching children not to litter, to recycle or to grow gardens. The children must be taught to appreciate the environment. Then and only then will they learn to love and protect the environment.
All in all, the garbage problem in Malaysia is still quite serious. However, with the cooperation of the government and the society, I am sure that things will be better in the near future.