Even though we are currently on an unsustainable path to environmental destruction, there are still people that do not recycle their waste. This may be for two reasons: lack of knowledge about the importance of recycling or a lack of adequate local infrastructure to ensure that waste is properly recycled. In both cases, I would argue that government action needs to be taken.
The first reason people don’t recycle their waste is that they are ignorant to the importance of it. Global warming is an abstract concept that is often difficult to exemplify and fully appreciate. As a result, many citizens go on with their daily behaviour as though there were no looming environmental threat. They neither recycle nor attempt to use less energy- both of which scientists now agree is imperative to combating climate change. In light of this, I would suggest that the government educate such citizens on the repercussions of their behaviour. For example, the government can create public awareness campaigns to be shown on television and social media channels. In this way, it will become common knowledge that recycling is a basic action that needs to be taken collectively in order to save the planet.
Another impediment to recycling is inadequate infrastructure. This often occurs in poorer countries; however, it does not make recycling any less important. In such countries, recycling waste can be extremely inconvenient and may involve walking longer distances to communal recycling points- if there are any at all. For example, when I was in rural Bali, my friends and I would have to carry our waste to the nearest town in order to recycle it. To combat this problem, the government needs to make a concerted effort to provide adequate recycling bins. It is important that they are conveniently located for residents and that there are adequate pictures and instructions to make certain that they are used appropriately. This measure has already proven to be very effective in countries such as South Korea, which has one of the highest rates of waste recycling in the world.
In conclusion, both of the reasons I have outlined as deterrents to frequent recycling can be adequately addressed through government intervention. In the case of a lack of understanding of the importance of recycling, I have advocated the importance of recycling awareness campaigns. To address the lack of adequate recycling infrastructure, I have argued in favour of infrastructural projects to make sure that recycling units are plentiful and conveniently located.