Ritsumeikan High School
Rits Super Global Forum 2019

Rits Super Global Forum (RSGF) 2019 THEME
 

Towards a Better World:

Reducing Problems Related to Plastic Waste

There are many significant problems facing our world today. One of them being garbage. About 90% of plastic waste is not recycled in the world. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic enters the sea every year, and at this rate, we face a future with more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Our plastic addiction and waste mismanagement are condemning countless marine birds and animals to death by entanglement or poisoning, and even leading to chemical contamination of the fish we eat. At the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2017, a resolution was passed aimed to end marine plastic pollution, and tackling plastic pollution including microplastics. This became more of a global priority after China, which had been accepting large amounts of the world's waste, banned imports of recycled waste at the start of 2018. Many countries and organizations are trying to solve the problems of garbage by focusing on the 5 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, and Repair). Then, we all can seek broader solutions that deal with the issues at many levels, such as recent movements for ending single-use plastic. Our search for the solutions and actions we take will be a part of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030. So, let us put our heads together at RSGF2019 and share our ideas about "What we can do to move towards a better world?" For this forum, we are focusing on "Reducing problems related to plastic waste", and we have set up five stages/topics to help us better grasp the issues from different aspects. Please choose one out of the following five stages/topics below and focus on it while making your posters and when holding discussions during the forum.

 
Five Stages / Topics [related to SDGs #1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]
 
  1. Production
    (Key terms: extraction, product producers, factories, industrial waste, biodegradable products, biomass plastic, zero-waste design, smart design)
    • What are the problems/situations related to production - involving product producers and factories?
    • What are the effects on others / the environment?
    • What has been done to help solve these issues?
    • Are the current practices /actions related to production sustainable?
    • How can SDGs help improve these issues?
    • What changes are needed in production in society at large?
  2. Distribution / Retailing
    (Key terms: disposal of unsold products, packaging, fast-fashion, micro fiber, waste management)
    • What are the problems/situations related to distribution - shipping, transportation, and stores?
    • What are the resulting effects on others / the environment?
    • What has been done to help solve these issues?
    • Are the current practices /actions related to distribution really sustainable?
    • How can SDGs help improve these issues?
    • What changes related to distribution are needed in society at large?
  3. Consumption
    (Key terms: consumers, single-use, Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Refuse. Repair (5Rs), awareness, shopping bags, etc.)
    • What are the problems/situations related to consumption - in households, schools, etc.?
    • What are the effects on others / the environment?
    • What has been done to help solve these issues?
    • Are the current practices /actions related to consumption really sustainable?
    • How can SDGs help improve these issues?
    • What changes are needed in consumerism at large?
  4. Disposal
    (Key terms: material recycling, chemical recycling, thermal recycling, energy recovery, landfill, dumping, water treatment)
    • What are the problems/situations related to disposal - in garbage disposal sites?
    • What are the effects on others / the environment?
    • Are the current practices /actions related to disposal sustainable?
    • What has been done to help solve these issues?
    • How can SDGs help improve this issue?
    • What changes are needed in disposing garbage at large?
  5. Movement of garbage
    (Key terms: trans-border flow of garbage, garbage imports and exports, potential disputes)
    • What are the problems/situations related to the movement of garbage across borders- imports and exports?
    • What are the effects on others / the environment?
    • What has been done to help solve these issues?
    • Are the current practices /solutions in dealing with these problems really sustainable?
    • How can SDGs help improve these issues?
    • What changes are needed in importing and exporting of garbage at large?
Note: We are going to focus on "plastic waste," and we are not going to include "food waste" as a topic for discussions.
 
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