In my hometown Hongkong, our government promoted recycling paper, plastic bottles and cans for nearly 3 decades, but see what is the effect now? Nobody knows, or simply nobody cares… People still don’t have a sense to separate the wastes, they just mix up in one plastic bag and dump in the bin. Our landfills are saturated, the government wants to open another one but receive numerous complains, and even residents protest to be against the idea.
Why don’t we learn from Finland and other countries that have good recycling policy, to make sure they create as less waste as possible? We have 7.3 million people in one city; Finland got 5 million in the whole country. Therefore, as we are more concentrated, we should practise recycling more easily.
In Finland, they have that recycling machines in every supermarket, you can always see people carrying big bags of bottles and cans to “sell” their wastes here. Why do I say “sell”? Because each bottle or can cost money! A beer can is €0.15, a small plastic bottle €0.2, big one €0.4, red wine glass bottle cost around €4. Although the cost is little, if you gather a lot, you can earn a living with this. I am not kidding, my friend told me lots of Romanians or Bulgarians come to Finland to collect trash, they earn better than doing regular work!
That’s why I want to experiment this, and start picking up bottles and cans on the roads when I cycle along. Usually I spend €2-3 per day on food, by cleaning up the countryside and selling the trash, it covers almost all my food expenses. Sometimes I even earn a few euros!
In realistic, Finland has reduced more than 50% of its wastes, which is incredible for the sustainability of the country! And they give a very good intention for people to befriend with our environment! And best of all, they educate their kids to do the same! Wonderful! I love Finland!