While technology brings us closer together, it is easy to think that you are doing nothing because you know people who are doing way better. It is also possible to think you got it right even when you’re wrong. This, depending on how you digest it, can help you think and do better or keep you stagnant in your old inefficiency. The same applies to the environment.
As you read this post many innovations are born while others phase-out. When I shouted out Rwanda’s recent green growth achievements, I knew other people were doing interesting things about climate change mitigation through protection, decarbonization, and so on.
I happened to be right when, in October 2018, Turkey created a way to encourage waste recycling by rolling out a vending machine able to collect, shred and sort plastic bottles and aluminum cans in the exchange of free transport in Istanbul. Now, everyone is benefiting from this incentive while saving the planet at the same time.
It is genius to understand the way that this technology works and its role in shifting people’s actions towards sustainable handling of waste materials in a fast, effective, voluntary way.
But that’s not all. On New Year’s day, Turkey again decided to charge more tax on single-use plastics as a way to discourage their use in shopping malls. These nonbiodegradable polymers which usually take years and years to decompose, degrade arable soils and pollute oceans around the world. Increased discouraged their use.
Since long ago, we have thought of ways to tackle waste pollution due to tons of wastes dumped in or near public places and into the oceans. It turns out we can achieve clean cities and clean seas when stars like Turkey and Rwanda provide examples.
But to diffuse technologies of plastic banning or recycling around the world, we will need to encourage innovation while discouraging stagnation intentionally.