Let’s throw everything in the yellow bin and turn on our good conscience!
Yes, we Germans like to be called the absolute recycling champions. But people, our vest is far from being white in terms of the environment! Half of the yogurt cups, water bottles and plastic bags from our households are not recycled. Rather, it all lands on the next container ship with the direction of Southeast Asia.
Current hotspot is Malaysia
By 2018, most of the European plastic was imported to the Land of the Dawn. For what we might consider as garbage, was elsewhere a big pile of cash. However, more and more products are made from very cheap materials. Yet, companies that produce plastics only use recycles, if they can compete with oil in terms of price and quality. So China no longer wanted to live with the financial loss and pulled out. A new customer had to come. Hello Malaysia! According to UN data the state has imported a total of 686 000 tonnes of plastic waste from January to October 2018. And Germany is right there at the forefront – we shipped a massive 100,000 tons of plastic waste to Malaysia.
Greetings from the garbage mafia
However, most of the plastic is taken from extremely dubious companies. Instead of investing in recycling, the waste is stored in abandoned buildings and improvised landfills. Or it will get burned in the open air. By the way, this happens most of the time near residential areas. The biting smoke is great for the lungs and bronchia.
The environment thanks
In addition, many of the garbage dumps are unsecured. When hit by storms and heavy rainfall – not uncommon in Asia – the plastic gets into the environment and into the sea. And we know what that means!
And Costa Rica?
We find almost everywhere public trash cans with various containers for glass, plastic, aluminum, organic waste, paper / cardboard and non-recyclable waste. Nevertheless the goodwill has not yet reached everyone’s minds. In everyday life, little is separated.