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Sunday 21.01.2018 | Name days: Agne, Agnese, Agnija
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On trash in Latvia: Let’s build castles of light from knowledge, not trash

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEvery year, more than 275,000 m3 of trash is neither recycled nor stored in landfills in Latvia. Instead all that trash is thrown away in the environment – forests, on the side of the road, bodies of water or simply buried. Such a volume of trash is equal to the Castle of Light size-wise, according to data compiled by Latvian Green Point.

«Summer is the season when most of us spend more time outside – go on walks in the forest, swim in the river, go cycling, have a picnic at the lake or sea. Behaving responsibly, those activities can be beneficial to us and the environment. But people do not always behave responsibly and instead of cleaning up after themselves they leave all kinds of trash – plastic, paper and glass packages, as well as very dangerous types of trash,» says Latvian Green Point Director Kaspars Zakulis.

He explains that paper towels take two to four weeks to degrade, cotton clothes take one to five months, whereas cigarette filters and plastic bags can take decades. The situation is even worse with diapers and fishing rods, which, when thrown out, remain for upwards of five centuries. The same applies to plastic bottles. Glass bottles do not degrade at all. They do wear over time, however.

At the same time, the director mentions certain consequences that may appear from trash left in the environment.

«Soil and ground water are polluted, which negatively impacts animal and human health. A broken glass bottle can cause considerable harm to animals and people. A piece of gum can even kill a bird or other small animal,» says Zakulis.

Here are three basic principles people should follow:

Trash has no place in the environment. Every person is responsible for making sure their trash is put in the proper place. This can be done by following these rules:

-trash should be put in appropriate containers;

-trash should be sorted to make it easier to recycle;

-people should shop more reasonably to avoid creating more trash.

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