The treatment of waste generated by every consumer must be treated based on the characteristics of the waste in order to reduce the environmental impacts in waste management (Petersen 2005). In the process of doing this effectively, some individual consumers have considered having different kinds of waste bins based on the characteristics of the waste and have learned to dispose of their waste properly and responsibly. That is why waste management authorities have put different kinds of waste bins at various accessible areas of the street for proper waste disposal.
Unfortunately, many other consumers still have not key into this initiative and carelessly dispose of their wastes in some public areas and littered the environment turning public places into landfills. The EU Landfill Directive 31/1999 stipulated that the Member States were obliged to reduce by 16th of July 2006 the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfills to 75 percent, by 16th of July 2009 to 50 percent and by 16 July 2016 to 35 percent (Eurostat, 2020). The Directive has prompted countries to follow various approaches to stop sending the organic components of urban waste to landfills, including composting, and incineration.
It is important to know that poor management and disposal of waste can have serious environmental impacts. Landfill, for example, takes up land space and may cause air, water, and soil pollution, while incineration may result in emissions of air pollutants.
The aim of this article is to create awareness for individual consumers in Portugal by encouraging them to reduce their environmental impacts by properly disposing of their wastes, so as to espouse the EU’s aim of reducing the environmental and health impacts of waste.
Today, environmental and public health issues are becoming fundamental in rethinking waste disposal. Given that some individuals find it difficult to properly dispose of their waste and consequently littering the environment, although, many of the residents want to protect the environment and make the necessary changes that they have control over. However, stopping litter requires everyone in the environment to stop littering. This is a great goal to have, but a difficult one to achieve. Thus, the Eco-Marathon event which stems from the Bank of ideas on “Green Steps” has been playing a very significant role in ensuring that the environment in the Madeira Island of Portugal is free of trash, as many volunteers from Erasmus+ and European for Solidarity Course as well as local and international volunteers from the Netherland, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, Slovenia, etc. participate in the Eco-Marathon to go hiking going within the cities and the mountains picking every garbage they find on their paths. By so doing they create awareness about the importance of proper waste disposal in order to effectively reduce environmental impact.
A lot of garbage has been typically removed since the 1st and 2nd Eco-Marathon has started on the 1st of November and 22nd of November 2020. The next Eco-marathon will take place on the 8th of December 2020 from around 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at designated sites in the Madeira Island of Portugal. I am so proud to be among these participants.
If you would like to participate in this event to promote “Green Steps”, consider joining us for the next Eco-Marathon. You can visit http://teatrometaphora.org/ to get directions to any area the Eco-Marathon is taking place.
Thanks to Teatro Metaphora, as volunteers will be provided with a free T-Shirt, you just have to come with your face masks so as to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations to help protect all other participants.
Ayeolowo Benjamin Ayemidara.
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes.
Erasmus for Youth Entrepreneurs.
To know more: www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu.