Population – a strain or a support?

Mr. Narendra added few comments

“….these points are so obvious and need to accept. The question that arises is how do we perceive the message so that these gets down to implementation. My thought is: Fundamental is how do we bring down the population which I feel is the root cause since there is so much of strain on natural resources.”

My response “population may be one of many reasons that is putting strain on natural resources. But there is more to it.”

I like to bring in an interesting point on population, that is educating the population.

We are all creatures of habit. By providing a separate bin to collect recyclables, we have created a habit for identifying and separating the recycling waste. By successful messaging, we have educated a segment of population to recycle waste on a regular basis. But, this is not good enough. It is not addressing the root cause of wsste.

When Coke bottles are recycled at a specific place, the incentive was there to collect a bit of money in doing so. We don’t have that facility from each of the manufacturers out there with an incentive to recycle. Similarly, when we use a shopping trolley, there is an incentive to get back the dollar by carrying it back to a trolley bay.

Thinking laterally, the shopping cart is a mechanism to transfer goods safely and securely from the shelves to our means of carrying them home. Beyond that it is all left to the amount of education that a consumer has received for unpacking the goods. There is no incentive for recycling. The discarded package can end up in land waste or out on the street. A penalty system would be unwise and expensive and lopsided under these circumstances if the manufacturer is not similarly held responsible.

So, when we recognize the population under these categories of those who manufacture and those who consume, educating the population means both. There are strict standards when producing the goods for consumption, but not so much for packaging.

When Australian farmers were impacted by bushfires, the retailers increased the price of milk by 10c a liter and passed on that amount to Australian farmers in need. Public did not complain. If governments or retailers can ask the manufacturers to charge extra and provide processes and mechanisms for consumers to get back the extra amount paid for recycling, public will have less voice to complain and couple of things can happen. Either recycling will become effective or under the pressure of competition, the manufacturers will find ways to reduce packaging waste to reduce the amounts charged for recycling to remain competitive. This has already happened with product manuals now being electronic, the package weight has been reduced for shipments to remain competitive. The same will happen when we create recycling pressures and waste produced will decrease in my opinion.