There is no Away
There is no throwing "AWAY" as ther eis no away. we can see that clearly if we imaging standing on the moon and glimpsing down on earth
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Humankind has made it to the moon. If you are up there and look down to earth, you start to understand that the "away" in "throwing it away" is not real. Everything stays within the biosphere and is accumulated somewhere.

Austria has created an incredible(?) system in which garbage, after we bring it to the dumping site, is out of sight means out of mind. Europeans, when they come to Nepal, then do react overly disgusted if they see Nepalese throwing the waste in the river or burning them on the way. But what actually happens to the waste in Austria? We have done research.

In 2015 Austria produces around 916 000 metric tons of plastic waste. That equals around 100 kg per person per year (in comparison, Nepal produces around 3 kg per person per year). The total amount of plastic waste in Austria could fill around 2400 truck loads. If one would line up all these trucks in a long queue, this queue would reach almost 5 times from Bregenz to Vienna. This is the amount of plastic alone, we Austrians throw "away" annually. But only around 28 % is being recycled eventually. While in 1994 80 % of plastic waste was dumped to landfills, nowadays, the lions share is thermally treated (burned in special treatment plants). Then much of the energy is away (some of it at least for heating our homes). And the slag which is remaining? Well, we export much of it ... it is also away ... at least from Austria. Well, Nepalese burn it on the way. Away ...

So maybe we should stop telling the Nepalese how to handle waste and start to fix our own waste management first?

This post is part of the Sustainability Illustrated series which Monon has started in 2019 in which the sustainability cartoons of the Canadian Alex Magnin should be made available to a German-speaking audience. For English speakers, he has much more interesting material on his website ... you should really check it out.

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