The Asia You Need to Know
Contrary to common perception, Asia is home to various zero waste solutions. If we want to solve the global plastic waste problem, we need to look and recognize the solutions springing up in the region. From the quaint town of Kamikatsu, Japan, to the crowded city of Shanghai, China, to the disaster-prone cities and communities in the Philippines, to the multicultural cities in India, to the laid-back communities in Vietnam, to the megacity that is Seoul, South Korea, and many more, there are various successful community-led solutions that truly work, waiting to be acknowledged and scaled up.
In Trivandrum City in Kerala, India, waste management is decentralized down to the household level. Households are required to segregate their wastes and manage their own kitchen and garden waste through at-home composting. Only residuals and other waste streams are collected by the ward (village).
Route to Zero Waste
Malabon City, a highly-urbanized city in Metro Manila, has to deal with massive flooding furing rainy season. Despite its topography, the 54,000 residents took on the challenge and emerged successful on their zero waste journey.
Sunshine after the Storm
Nearly flattened in 2013 after becoming ground zero of Typhoon Haiyan—the strongest typhoon ever in recorded history to landfall—Tacloban City, a highly urbanized area in central Philippines, is well on its way to becoming a Zero Waste model city.
Citizens at the Center
Seoul, South Korea’s progressive waste diversion policies are the envy of the world. The city’s visionary solid waste management policies include a volume-based waste disposal fee system, a deposit refund system, extended producer responsibility, and bans on problematic products and packaging.
Picking up the Baton
Often, a change in leadership comes with a change in priorities. The City of San Fernando proves that with strong leadership and political will, a change in authority does not mark the end of a program, but rather an opportunity to improve it.
Small Town Big Steps
Addressing the global plastic crisis is not a walk in the park. But Kamikatsu, Japan, proved to the world that it could be done by emphasizing the concepts of reduction and reuse and making recycling creative and fun.
Pioneer of Zero Waste
In Barangay Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, Philippines, the lanes are clean and free of litter. Outside the business district, its residents, mostly coming from low-tomiddle income families, have shown remarkable progress in the fight against waste. Today, 95% of its households segregate their waste before it is collected.
The zero waste model that is developed in Bandung, will be a model to show a better alternative: on how much actually cost reduction it can achieve, while at the same time increase the quality of life of, specially, the community and the waste collectors.
Making a Case for Zero Waste
Penang, Malaysia is an opportunity waiting to happen. Host to various Zero Waste initiatives that are now ripe for scale up, the state can be an inspiration for a national direction towards Zero Waste.