The Power of Community in Combating Plastic Pollution
Community collaboration is vital in mitigating plastic pollution, especially among the most affected people and areas. These are the low-income, marginalized, and vulnerable communities affected mainly by environmental problems and have little to no resources to deal with or adapt to them. People coming together encourages inclusive participation, and with the right information and skills, people can support causes that advocate for environmental changes that reduce pollution.
Here, at iRecycle.world, there are several community-based initiatives to unify the community in combating plastic pollution and preventing environmental degradation to encourage a green and circular economy. Communities such as Okuru-Ama and Abuloma, through the support from iRecycle, are creating sustainable impacts in their environment.
Plastic pollution: A global concern
According to the United Nations Environmental Program UNEP, approximately 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced daily, and 1 million plastic bottles are bought worldwide every minute. We have become so reliant on single-use plastics, that they now affect our environmental health and well-being. In the world’s ocean today, we have over 8 billion tonnes of plastic waste escaping into it. This plastic waste is like a virus infecting our environment, spreading rapidly and causing harm to our ecosystem, and unsustainable waste management practices are the weak immune system that fails to fight it off, leaving our environment vulnerable and exposed to danger.
Let’s Recycle Campaign: A community-led solution to plastic pollution
The battle against plastic pollution requires the active participation of communities, and iRecycle.world has taken the lead by organising events, including community sensitization, cleanups, and outreaches that promote proper waste management and recycling. Using technology, iRecycle encourages community residents to work together towards a common goal of recycling and plastic waste management.
5 Actionable steps you can take today to help curb plastic pollution
The various community campaigns and outreaches have helped create sustainable behavioural changes towards plastic waste management in homes and businesses. Here are 5 actionable steps that you can take to make a real difference:
Get informed and spread the word: The first step in fighting plastic pollution is to educate yourself and others. Make sure you're getting accurate information from reliable sources and share what you learn with your family, friends, and community. A good place to start learning is here on iRecycle’s blog.
Practice what you learn: Knowledge alone won't solve the problem of plastic pollution. We need to take action in our daily lives. Try implementing the 5 Rs of environmental sustainability - refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle, and recover - and say no to single-use plastics. Small changes like bringing your own water bottle or tote bag can add up to big results.
Implement sustainable waste management: Proper waste management is key to reducing plastic pollution. Consider segregating your waste, repurposing plastic items that can be reused, and recycling as much as possible.
Support companies with sustainable practices: When shopping, choose products with more sustainable packaging and support companies that prioritize waste reduction and environmental protection. This sends a message to businesses that sustainability is important to their customers.
Advocate for change: Finally, lend your voice and actions to support policies and programs that encourage environmental protection and sustainable development. Advocate for plastic reduction programs, policymaking, and implementation (such as the Plastic Pollution Bill).
Take action against plastic pollution with iRecycle.world
We all want to live in a clean and healthy environment, but that can only happen if we take action to protect it. The newly launched iRecycle mobile app connects waste generators with collectors and recyclers, providing incentives for community members and promoting data-driven decision-making. So far through collaborative participation, iRecycle has recovered over 3000kg of plastic waste from River State and its environs, generating up to 300,000 naira for the community participants.
This app not only helps fight plastic pollution but also encourages long-lasting behavioural changes by allowing users to track their environmental impact. And it's not just about the environment and the economy. App users and our volunteers have reported feeling more confident and self-assured, and knowing that they're making a difference in their community promote a sense of accomplishment and well-being.
If you're ready to take action towards curbing plastic pollution and making a positive impact on the environment, then waste no time! Signing up is quick and easy, and you'll be able to create your account and start making a difference in just a few simple steps. You'll have access to a network of collectors and recyclers, earn incentives for your contributions, and track your progress towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
So what are you waiting for? Create your account today and join the growing community of individuals committed to making a difference!