Clean and Green in a Connected World: Navigating Pollution and Global Waste Management

Trenton, NJ recycles

Pollution and waste management in New Jersey

The New Jersey Plastics Pact was concluded in Trenton. The signatories, large companies and two NGOs commit to taking measures for better management of the life cycle of single-use plastic packaging and products. A breakthrough in the fight against waste and pollution in New Jersey. But will this pact be respected by all its signatories in the years to come?

The developed world is a major supplier of waste and pollutants. Waste processing is an industry in itself. But, if the elimination of common, household waste is a problem of technique, financing and political decision, it is quite different for heavy toxic waste of which industrialized countries produce more than 300 million tonnes each year.

Those responsible seek to minimize the seriousness of the problem, while trying to send these undesirables to be treated elsewhere, such as asbestos ships, chemical pollutants, waste from the digital industry and other atomic waste: various scandals have made the problem known. problem of this trade in toxic waste, the extent of which cannot be measured due to high opacity in the flows.

Despite the implementation of recycling and dumpster rentals, the impact of waste from industrialized countries remains considerable on the planet. In addition, with the development of new technologies, overconsumption and planned obsolescence of our electronic devices, our waste is becoming more and more significant. Pollution caused by pesticide residues, radioactive waste, chemical waste or even oil has consequences on natural environments, whether land or water, and, consequently, on our health.

Building a sustainable urban environment in NJ

In 2018, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population is urbanized: 4.2 billion people, or 55% of the world’s population, live in cities.

According to the UN agency responsible for housing issues, by 2030, 6 out of 10 people in the world will reside in an urban area and urban populations will number 1.5 billion. While the countries of the North are the most urbanized, urban growth is concentrated in developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. It is explained by a strong rural exodus because living in the city is often seen as a guarantee of modernity, work opportunities and a better life.

But unemployment, underemployment and the development of the informal economy in urban areas create increasingly precarious living conditions, particularly for young people, women, migrants or displaced people and marginalized groups. The increasing concentration of wealth in a few particularly attractive cities like Trenton increases the cost of living, forcing lower-income residents to migrate to distant neighborhoods or to relocate altogether.

In this context of major urbanization, cities are struggling to provide the infrastructure, services and governance systems necessary to face demographic, environmental, social and political challenges.

The sprawl of cities around the world is a real problem because it leads to longer daily trips, an increase in atmospheric pollution, and the reduction and decay of natural and agricultural spaces.

Aware of the need for everyone to mobilize individually and collectively to contribute to building a sustainable urban environment, the City of Trenton, NJ brings together local initiatives that are both radical and concrete aimed at reducing energy consumption, promoting the development of clean transport, vegetable crops, recycling, etc.