Can you imagine having to live among piles of rubbish?
This was the situation facing Rubina* and her family. Rubina is 25 and lives with her family in a slum in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Until recently, there was no waste collection from her community. Waste was discarded at the edges of the community, where it accumulated in large piles lining the roads and was regularly burnt to get rid of it.
Rubina’s elder son, Javed, who’s nine, struggles with breathing problems because of toxic fumes from burning rubbish, and often has to go to hospital.
Rubina believes that multinational companies – whose waste products are visible in the streets around her home – could do more to clear up the pollution their products create. She says, "People would burn waste in the open since there were no other means of disposal. This would cause my children to cough and get sick, especially when soft drink bottles were burnt along with other plastics, causing thick, dense smoke. These big and rich companies should do something to help us keep our surroundings clean and stop their bottles from being burnt or lying around."
One in four people globally don’t have any waste collection in their community. It’s time to change this rubbish situation.
We can call on companies to take responsibility for the plastic waste mountains they are creating in poorer communities.
What’s more, we can reduce our own rubbish too.
When we take action, we are valuing the world God has given us and following Jesus in loving our neighbours as ourselves.
We know that our brothers and sisters across the world are struggling because of this waste problem. Jesus calls us to love them as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Taking action can be a loving act that cares for our global neighbours and honours God.
* Name changed for privacy reasons.