I grew up in Sydney Australia. As a young boy it was my after school job to ‘take out the trash’ to our back yard where I used to enjoy burning rubbish.
I liked the sound burning plastic made when you held a plastic bag on a stick.
Molten globs would drop off in slow motion and make a zipping sound as they fell to the ground. My brother still bears a scar on his hand where he got hit by a drop of molten plastic one afternoon. That incident put an end to that game, but my parents were unaware of the health hazard of burning rubbish, so we continued our weekly backyard burn offs.
We were not yet educated on the dangers of burning rubbish.
Around the mid Seventies , when I was starting high school, the Australian Government announced the Environment Protection Act. Burning rubbish at home had to be done in incinerators and ONLY at specific times , usually late afternoon, on specific days.
By 1997 we had the Protection of the Environment Operations Act which prohibited the burning of any type of rubbish. Which means it was a legal offense to burn ANYTHING at all , anytime. People who still tried to burn their house-hold rubbish could be fined up to $200 for breaking the law.
Advertisements from the government also started to appear that warned the public about the dangers of burning rubbish and inhalation of toxic smoke.
Gradually the air around Sydney became cleaner.
SO – my point is – Australia was not always a Go-Green perfectly clean air country.
The air quality is a gizzilion times better than what I’m breathing right now in BSD , Jakarta, but we had to go through steps of understanding and adjusting over time to get there.
Sometimes I feel time has run out for Jakarta. Air Pollution is so very bad here.
A change must start somewhere though. The first step is letting people that burning rubbish , like I did when I was a boy , know that it can be really bad for their health.
Jangan membakar sampah plastic.