Instead of calling us consumer society, we could call ourselves waste society. All the things we throw once used and all the materials that result from an industrial process and have no utility can be considered waste.
Waste production in Catalunya in 2016 stands at 3.700 tonnes, equivalent to 1.36 kg / inhabitant / day. In Barcelona stands at 1,29 kg / inhabitant / day.
In Catalonia 9 million bottles of beverages are sold every day and European countries have increased the volume of waste per capita by more than 60% in recent years, many of which are single use.
Natural resources are limited, and if the entire world population consumed the same way we do, it would take 3 planets like Earth to meet demand. Waste represents one of the most important environmental problems because they pollute, cause biodiversity loss, accelerate climate change and its management entails a high consumption of resources and generates a great economic expense.
Given this situation, what can we do? To reduce the large amount of waste we can follow the rule of 4R, which is based on the principles of Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Rethink; stop to think if the products we want to buy are really necessary since the best residue is the one that does not occur.
Reduce the amount of waste we generate, avoiding unnecessary waste through more sustainable consumption habits such as carry the carrycot when going to buy, opt for products in bulk or poorly packaged, etc.
Reuse the products once they have fulfilled their main function, that is to say, give them another use (as can be used the glass jar of cooked vegetables to store rice), return them (as we can still do with the bottles of cava that if we take them to the Green Point will use them again to save the cava) or repair them if they have been damaged. All these measures serve to extend the life of objects and reduce consumption and waste.
Recycle, finally if the products no longer serve, we will separate them properly for their recycling. In this process reject materials are collected and transformed into other materials that can be used as new products or as raw materials. In this way we can not only avoid environmental deterioration, but also save energy and raw materials.
Taking simple steps in our daily lives to reduce the amount of waste we generate is available to all consumers.
In the website of the Generalitat de Catalunya can inform you about in which container goes the different residues that we generate, what process they follow for their treatment and in what they are transformed.
In the portal of the Agència de Residus de Catalunya you will also find information on production and waste reduction, as well as outstanding initiatives in the field of prevention.
In the area of entities, Rezero is an organization promoted by environmental and civic entities of the country with the support and participation of diverse sectors of civil society, administrations and the business world. Its objective is to stop the irresponsible consumption of resources and energy derived from the current consumption model. In its web you will find studies of investigation, advice, informative campaigns, and educational materials, among others.
If you are interested in repairing, in the Millor que nou program website you will find free support and advice so that you can repair for yourself some appliances and objects.
With the Barcelona City Council's recycling guide you can find ideas to reduce waste and classify them correctly for recycling.