The theme for this year’s World Environment Day that is celebrated every fifth of June is Ecosystem Restoration, which means “assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact” (decadeonrestoration.org).
Why is restoring the ecosystem so important? Because healthier ecosystems will be able to provide the adequate supports that are needed for life to continue to thrive, making the earth a livable planet not only for humans but also other species. Such supports come in various forms such as fertile soils, useful resources like timber and fish, and even a more intangible one like nature’s capabilities in storing greenhouse gases.
Benefits of Ecosystem Restoration
According to the UN’s website on Ecosystem Restoration, between now and 2030, the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems could generate US$9 trillion in ecosystem services. Moreover, restoring ecosystems could also remove 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
In fact, restoration and other natural solutions can deliver one third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep the global temperature below 2 degree celsius while also helping societies and economies adapt to climate change (Griscom et al., 2017; Kapos et al., 2019). Moreover, restoring 15% of converted lands in the right places could prevent 60% of projected species extinctions (Strassburg et al., 2020).
Addressing Waste Issue Means Restoring The Ecosystem
Degradation of ecosystems can be linked to various causes, such as unregulated farming and illegal logging that degrades forests, and even poor waste management that causes waste to leak to waterways and end up polluting lakes, rivers, and ultimately the world’s oceans.
The grim and infamous prediction that there will be more trash than fish in the ocean by 2050 is enough to indicate how badly polluted our oceans are, and while the correlation between degraded ecosystem and waste issues might not seem that direct, it remains a big issue that needs to be addressed.
In Indonesia for example, poor waste management practices have resulted in a mere 7,5% of the nation’s waste that were being recycled, whereas 69% of it goes to landfill (Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2019). What’s more, according to a 2018 research from Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), around 0.27 to 0.9 million tonnes of waste enters the ocean every year through rivers, and that the waste is dominated by plastic bags and styrofoam.
Removing the waste that has already entered the environment also counts as restoration efforts because it means that we are removing nature's burden and enabling nature to recover on its own.
Waste Credit from Waste4Change
Removing waste from nature is the kind of service that Waste4Change provides through its Waste Credit service, which aims to help producers collect and manage more inorganic waste from the environment. Through Waste Credit, producers will be able to collect and recycle more waste with various methods, namely water cleanup and material recovery.
The collected waste will then be sorted in a more detailed manner in Waste4Change’s Material Recovery Facility and Waste4Change’s recycling partner, and the residual waste will be processed based on the agreement with the client. Not to mention that the service can also create job opportunities because for every 3.200 liter of waste, 3 waste collectors are needed with twice the income provided.
Restoration initiatives can be launched by almost anyone, from governments and development agencies to businesses, communities and individuals. As such, waste credit can help food and beverage producers, consumer goods manufacturers, cosmetics and personal care producers, or even local and international environmental organizations alike to take part in ecosystem restoration by collecting and recycling more waste.
To learn more about how you can help in capturing and managing waste from the environment, visit w4c.id/wastecredit