Reducing Trash Burning in Surabaya
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We are writing to you to address the issue of plastic garbage usage and in particular the burning of garbage within the city limits of Surabaya. In recent years, people tend to burn their plastic garbage, possibly for convenience or due to a lack of space to throw the trash. As you may already know, burning of plastic waste can release harmful and toxic gases into the surrounding environment that pollutes it. We must take effective action against this act to mitigate its effects in future.
Firstly, we must acknowledge the various reasons why plastic garbage is often disposed by burning. Trash burning is often done as it is convenient for the people and it comes with no cost. Also, this can save up on space that is increasingly becoming scarce nowadays. Furthermore, the burning of plastic garbage can serve as a last resort fuel and heat source in the case that people cannot afford fuel. Moreover, some locals would burn trash in order to generate fumes, which drive away insects such as mosquitoes and flies from their living area.
Secondly, we will list and explain the numerous disadvantages burning trash may have on society and the environment, in order to prove our point and persuade you further. When we burn trash, a lot of harmful and toxic gases are released into the air, thus polluting the air we breathe. For example, greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are all especially bad for the environment. Also, several organic toxins that can cause cancer and respiratory disease are also released, so the burning of plastic garbage is a potential life risk to humans nearby. The gases can also mix with clouds once exposed to the atmosphere and cause acid rain, which causes structural damage to buildings and waterways, damages trees, and kills wildlife exposed to the rain. If the locals burn near a famous landmark, less people may end up going there, which will ultimately affect business in the area. In addition to that, the burnt plastics will leave a residue behind that is difficult to properly clean up, and the ground or soil used as the surface for burning cannot be used again.
Next, we shall discuss ways on how to prevent the burning of trash in city limits which we hope you’ll take to consideration. There a few ways to prevent it, one way is to have an area dedicated to burn trash, which is far away from social places like schools and hospitals, and residential areas to prevent people from breathing the toxic air. The place should also be in the middle of nowhere and hard to reach to make it less accessible, which would make people more lazy to burn trash . The second is to have police patrol the city and punish or fine people who burn trash. Another way is to increase the price of plastic bags in supermarkets. For instance, Rp.5000 for every bag and this will encourage people to bring their own bag everytime they go shopping. When most people bring their own reusable bags, we have less plastics to burn.
The following page would give a complete explanation and examples on the effects of plastic usage and burning trash and solutions to end those problems.
Issues created by burning trash:
Emitted smoke is poisonous.
They leave traces as they cannot decompose naturally and takes a long time to do so.
Today’s trash is filled with toxic chemicals, which worsens our quality of life by worsening our health conditions.
Lungs are damaged by breathing fine particles present in smoke.
Harmful for animals as they might eat the plastic.
Might reduce tourism as the site gets a bad environmental reputation.
The smoke can spread around the atmosphere, and once it gathers up in the air, it will precipitate in the form of acid rain, polluting water systems and damaging trees and buildings.
How to reduce burning trash:
Give fines to people who burn trash randomly in the streets.
Have a specific time/schedule to burn trash.
Issues created by using plastic:
They are hard to be recycled/decomposed.
They take up a lot of space.
Creates more and more landfills.
Clogs the city’s sewer which would lead to floodings.
Stray animals might eat them.
BPA might contaminate our food, water, etc.
How to reduce plastic usage:
Encourage people to not use plastic by increasing the prices of plastic products. (example: Charge Rp5000.00 for plastic bags)
Encourage people to bring their own water bottle, instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles.
Restaurants should use paper containers and paper bags.
Put pressure on manufacturers.
Set a quota on a person’s plastic bag usage
In conclusion, we hope that you can help and support us to make the city free from burning and excessive use of plastic. We hope our statements and facts are sufficient enough to persuade you to join our cause. Also, we thank you for your time and attention in reading this letter.
Wilbert Sebastien Wang
Raymond Eagan Notokusumo
Fido Richie Tjoa
Sean Travis Wijaya
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