The law against littering is already in effect, so how can we improve its enforcement

Saudi Arabia World News Daily News

All through my morning strolls in my Riyadh, Saudi Arabia community, I am frequently disturbed and sickened by the vast volumes of discarded rubbish. During my early morning walks, I see a trash epidemic that is prevalent across Saudi Arabia’s playgrounds, streets, parking spaces, communities, as well as other locations.

Improper waste disposal in the sidewalks, city spaces, and generally the environment is not only an unpleasant look; it also leads to environmental pollution since trash, such as plastic, is detrimental to the environment. Furthermore, one study revealed that improperly disposed face masks, which are an obligatory COVID-19 safety precaution, not only cause environmental pollution but may also increase the chance of coronavirus transmission.

Improper waste disposal could also have financial consequences, such as lost tourism income, ecological repair, and wildlife harm. These economic downturns contradict Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030, a strategy paradigm aimed at reducing Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil, diversifying its income, and establishing a future city scape powered entirely by clean energy thus ultimately a green city.

Saudi Arabia produces the most trash in the region as a result of high industrialization, rising population, as well as increasing urbanization – roughly 15 million metric tons, which equates to 1.4 – 1.8 kg per individual. Managing waste material is a crucial difficulty the Kingdom currently faces.

Parcel to the public decency legislation, Saudi authorities levied fines against anti-littering of approximately SAR 2,000 (USD 533) as of September 2019. Unquestionably, harsh anti-littering fines affected improper waste disposal; but then again that did not prevent individuals from tossing trash outside approved disposal points. It is challenging to issue fines since the occurrence must be seen by an official or a witness.

The Saudi government implemented stringent anti-littering regulations (i.e., sanctions), yet did not implement social concerns concerning littering. Based on one survey, littering conduct is psychological because individuals do not litter if it is a social taboo; thus, to properly execute this rule, we need to foster the perception that improper disposal is a serious problem that hurts the economy and the environment.

Addressing Improper Waste Disposal as a Social Concern

The following are a few long-term initiatives to make anti-littering legislation effective in public places.

  1. The private sector as well as influencers: May assist convey the word by organizing people and their communities to engage in and support cleaning. Having renowned local leaders but also influencers on board can help.
  2. Clean-up day: Education institutions and local communities can arrange clean-up activities to educate people about waste disposal as well as to urge students and parents to tidy their community, parks, and schools, among other things. Individuals will pause for consideration before dumping in this scenario.
  3. Anti-littering signs: the use of banners, animations, flyers, as well as car bins, can encourage change in behavior while drawing attention to the disposal problem and its negative environmental effects. Creating the illusion of a cleaner city by using audio-visual depictions of cleanliness in ads, truck art designs with logos, and catchy words to give people a sense of living in a cleaner city.
  4. Social Media: Private entities may use campaigns on social media to emphasize the necessity of appropriate garbage disposal and encourage every person in society to take responsibility and ensure that their surroundings and community are clean and stay that way.
  5. Smartphone Applications: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs ought to spend money on creating simple mobile applications that enable people to report violators who improperly dispose of waste in public spaces.
  6. Additional garbage cans: Due to the lack of trash cans, people may litter. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs should thus establish more marked trash cans on roadways, playgrounds, as well as malls, among other places, to differentiate various sorts of waste, reduce littering, and make rubbish collection simpler.
  7. Incentivize: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs should reward citizens or cleanup organizations that appropriately dispose of waste in allocated areas. To inspire people, the Ministry could highlight such excellent actions in the media as well as on social media.

It is critical to recognize how whenever we improperly discard waste on the streets, we endanger our surroundings as well as towns and cities. The government has put in place anti-littering fines although they have not yet been enforced.

Endeavor to inform people that littering is undesirable to encourage the wider populace to proactively support this cause.  It is our collective responsibility to ensure the kingdom is a healthier and cleaner place to live in, as well as to alert anybody seen improperly disposing of waste that it will not only impact their immediate health and well-being, but also the surroundings because it will be correct to take responsibility if our nation isn’t on level terms with, or even higher than, the countries considered to be the cleanest.