Local July 8, 2020 | 3:12 pm

Changing the “culture of waste” helps environmental sustainability in DR

Recycling one million tons of plastics is equivalent to taking a million cars off the road.

Modality. Substituting disposable plastics for durable ones preserves clean cities, rivers, and seas. Policy. Fundación 3Rs advocates a policy for the trade of these items.

 

SANTO DOMINGO. – Many of the supermarket covers, glasses, plates, sorbets, and plastic cutlery cause a negative impact on the environment, once they are launched and end up in rivers, beaches, and oceans, which is why in many countries they are banning them.

However, other products of similar materials such as syringes, serums-and-drug packages, although they have better final disposal processing, also require regulation and treatment for their disposal.

For Ginny Heinsen, president of the 3Rs Foundation, a change of culture is necessary for people, companies, and industries with greater education of the population to appreciate the advantages of reusable plastics or of successive uses, such as water heaters, and so on—select biodegradable packaging that is not detrimental to ecosystems.

“With this we will cease to promote ‘the culture of discarding,’ of buying and selling, which developed after the Second World War and which is cited in the encyclical Laudato Sí of Pope Francis in 2015, which emerged to promote the industry and employment, thinking that the economy should grow without limits,” says Heinsen.

The ‘waste culture’ has become, in her opinion, a kind of “tumor that grows disproportionately.”

Deterioration to the planet
It is given the absurdity of promoting a Gross Domestic Product in constant growth without taking into account the deterioration caused to the planet, with more than 7 billion inhabitants and limited natural resources.

Responsibility
Except for hard or rigid plastics, whose recycling industry is a model in the country, there is an urgent need to regulate the commerce of those that are thrown away, such as foam covers and gaskets that end up in drains and create floods in rainy times.

“For these products, the extended responsibility of the producer should be promoted, which is included in the draft of the Solid Waste Law that is in the Senate.

This rule is that each manufacturer or importer ensures that their products do not end up as garbage, said the promoter of the 3Rs, which means reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Heinsen cited as an example the project of the National Brewery: “Recycle 100+,” which after recognizing that it launches a million pounds of plastic bottles monthly into commerce, has proposed to recover them for the manufacture of new bottles, promoting the circular economy and extended producer responsibility.

This action qualifies it as very significant and is expected to be imitated by other companies. Heinsen advocates reusable or more environmentally friendly and environmentally friendly packaging.

Impact

—1— Accumulation
More than 150 million tons of plastics exist in the oceans.

—2— Fauna
Species lose lives when entangled in plastics which also becomes ingested when mistaken for food.