Waste becomes complex problem, millennials play an important role

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Participants of HPSN Webinar of Social Affairs Ministry of Student Executive Board, Universitas Airlangga
Participants of HPSN Webinar of Social Affairs Ministry of Student Executive Board, Universitas Airlangga

UNAIR NEWS – Waste is a never-ending complex problem with various impacts that can threaten humans. Each person can produce 0.7 kilograms of waste per day.

Waste production will continue to increase every year, including the case of smuggled waste in Indonesia which reached 739 thousand tonnes in 2018. Therefore, the role of millennials as the nation’s next generation is very important in reducing the number of waste in the environment.

The Ministry of Social Affairs (Sosma) Student Executive Board (BEM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) held a National Waste Awareness Day (HPSN) Commemoration Webinar, on Friday, February 26, 2021. The webinar entitled “Millennial Waste Awareness Movement towards Advanced Indonesia” invited three speakers.

Discussing the waste problem from health perspective, Bagus Tri Saputra, S. Ked (FK UNAIR medical resident) as the first speaker said that toxins contained in waste can pollute water which causes health problems. Contamination from waste can spread and affect vulnerable populations such as children with growth disorders, pregnant women and fetuses, and the elderly.

“The piling of rubbish adds more risks infectious and degenerative diseases in Indonesia. The two health problems caused by landfill can be short term (outbreak) and long term (chronic disease) in body systems,” said dr. Pandit.

Agreeing dr.Pandit’s statement, the second speaker Wahyu Eka Setyawan from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) said that in overcoming this problem, there is an offer of a concept called Zero Waste Hierarchy. It includes Reduce and Conserve Materials, Encourage Cyclical Use of Resources and Shift Incentives to Stop Waste, Manufacturers Design Products for Sustainability and Take Back, Reuse, Recycle, and Regulate Disposal.

This concept can begin to be applied in the smallest areas, households, and regulations must be made even up to the district or city level. This concept certainly requires synergy from various parties to create changes in waste management.

“This concept can be done individually by changing our pattern, although it is not 100 percent, but can also be done collectively in groups or through policy interventions,” said Wahyu.

Furthermore to open millennial minds, the webinar presented Maulana Satria Aji S.KM (Faculty of Public Health alumnus). At the webinar, he said that millennials can also take a role in reducing waste.

It can be done through educating the public about waste emergencies and its impacts. Then, intensify the Zero Waste Campaign, through the Waste Bank program, and reduce online shopping during a pandemic.

“Millennials have to go down to the community massively and directly to create interesting campaigns about environment awareness activities,” said Aji.

“It can be through phenomena currently being discussed in the community which are then modified and linked to create a campaign for environmental care activities,” he added. (*)

Author: Ulfah Mu’amarotul Hikmah

Editor: Feri Fenoria

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