Reduce the usage of plastic and the burning of trash in Surabaya
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Dear Mrs. Risma,
We are writing this letter to address the usage of plastic garbage and our methods of disposing it. Trash has always been a big issue towards the environment for decades, especially towards big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya. We are hoping that this letter will make you consider about the methods of saving the environment, and hoping that you can make a change.
Even though we all know that using plastic bags are not good for the environment, we still tend to use them instead of bringing our own eco-friendly reusable bags. This is probably because plastic bags are free and they are ready for you to use, while bringing your own bag is troublesome, since some people might forget to bring theirs, therefore making the use of plastic bags more convenient. We feel that if grocery stores continue to charge people for the use of plastic bags, it might reduce the use of plastic bags. This may be because people might think why spend money on plastic bags when you can have your own reusable bag for free? Another thing is that, for every person who uses their own bag, they should get discount.
Another thing we should consider is to try our best to buy less plastic bottle. Unless there’s some kind of contamination crisis plastic bottles are an easy target for reducing waste, instead we should just keep a refillable bottle.
Therefore we propose these following changes to be made to our city of Surabaya.
1. Improve education to make sure that all children are taught in schools about the harmful effects of burning trash. Currently, the 9 years of standard Indonesian curriculum does not teach this.
2. Make stricter rules and punishments for burning trash. Those caught burning trash should be given a warning, they must be fined at least Rp. 500.000,00. Moreover, those who are found burning trash within a 1 km radius of schools or hospitals should be fined an extra Rp. 500.000,00.
3. Employ the the unemployed to collect trash from roadsides, sewers, canals, and rivers.
4. Advertise the proper disposal of trash. This can be done in the same way the destruction of narcotics is being advertised right now- through short clips before movies in cinemas and on billboards. This campaign can also be made online to take advantage of the widespread use of social media.
In conclusion, the government of Surabaya should take this issue more seriously by starting to reduce the use of plastic throughout the city and implement new laws to reduce the burning of trash in Surabaya.
Andreas, Gifta, Gwyneth, Ian, Laetitia, Wienda, Winston, Aileen, Emily, Derron
Singapore National Academy
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