1) universal symbols and colors for recycling metals, glass, paper, and all compostable materials. This is not unprecedented we have global symbols for toilets for men and women. And handicapped access. And stop signs. The UN could do this. Removing all compostable a from the dry recyclables is huge because of the reduction of landfill methane and the production of compost for healthy soils.
2) The UN could promote that all food be packaged in compostable materials. Wrapping our food in petroleum plastics is so odd for so many reasons… Health concerns, environmental issues, disposal inconvenience (I hate washing out a container – let’s make the containers and clear wraps out of hemp oil and chuck the whole thing in the compostable bin when we’re done).
2a) Bulk, reusable containers, refilling stations are even better. People who are leading by bringing their canvass bags shopping are going to trail blaze that solution too. Are you a trail blazer?
3) Global recycling infrastructure – well marked bins EVERYWHERE! I’ve been listening to so many people here talk about plastics in the oceans (420 tons of littered plastic entering Earth’s water systems – oceans rivers, sewers… each second! Bottle caps, forks, straws, containers, bags, toys..). And the same contamination in compost bins and soils. And people are thinking of fines and incentives and taxes… I think there are 2 ways you can look at this: 8 billion contaminators or Earths army of 8 billion eco heroes. If there is a garbage bin on a street corner and it overflows, people still put their garbage next to the bin. I see it all the time. I see people standing in front of confusing recycling stations trying to figure them out. Humanity isn’t the problem. Its the solution but the institutions need to organize to let the masses do this massive work. Homeless people understand the need for sorting dry and wet garbage better than most of the people working on the UN treaty. It is really society’s job to universally organize this the way most of the world has sanitation, toilets and sewage in order to avoid the plague.
There should be multiple, well marked, recycling and composting bins EVERYWHERE street corners, elevators, lobbies, restaurants, hospitals, bus stops, schools, doorways… Everywhere someone looks around for a bin, there should be at least 3 recycling and 1 compostables bin! It will create jobs, sorted resources streams, compost for soils and convenience which is huge!
3a) Co-mingling our recycling is ridiculous and counter-intuitive. The public doesn’t like it and broken glass in paper is an awful mess. Society is full of Type A personalities, ADD, ADHD and all kinds of labels for people who are desperate to sort their waste into resources correctly and conveniently into same material streams. Why don’t we celebrate and tap into this? They will lead us out of the chaos.