World Earth Day 2016

Our names are Daan Hodiamont (21) en Vincent Schmitz (22), students at Maastricht University and participating on Merit360. We will write three blogs for Dopper upcoming period starting with our first one on World Earth Day. Merit360 is the world’s most significant program for global citizens who want to tackle the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will work with 360 delegates at the UN Headquarters, representing almost every country, and collaborate together to inspire change. 

Sustainable Development Goal #12

Responsible production and consumption is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These Goals are set by the United Nations to ensure economic growth and a sustainable world. Over the next fifteen years, countries all over the world will put effort in ending all forms of poverty and inequalities. In addition the goals are designed to tackle climate change, irresponsible consumption and other contemporary problems. The Sustainable Development Goals are the more ambitious and elaborate version of the previous Millennium Goals.

Responsible Consumption and Production

One of the goals that stand out when thinking about our preservation of the earth is SDG #12. This goal is labelled as ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ and aims at doing more and better with less. “Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all” (United Nations). It is quite obvious that this is currently not happening on our planet. Resources are depleted, food is thrown away and people generally are careless about their consumption pattern. Therefore, the urgency of SDG #12 is apparent and it is necessary to raise awareness amongst people.

Disposable plastic bottles

The usage of disposable plastic bottles is an example of this consumption pattern. Exactly this type of consumption and the market created by the water bottling companies is a living standard we cannot continue. These plastic bottles are consumed and simply thrown away, eventually resulting in much waste finding its way to the oceans. The Great Pacific garbage patch is a shocking example for this. It is an area consisting of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been concentrated in the middle of the ocean by currents. It has a minimum estimated size of 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi), about the size of Texas. Even more disconcerting is the fact that this is not the only garbage patch, there are four more, one in every ocean. In addition, “it requires one liter of water and one liter of oil to produce a single plastic bottle” ( It is quite the opposite of using resources efficiently on our earth. Especially if we take into account that the developed countries have healthy and clean tap water in every household.

Rethink ways of consumption

Therefore, we have to rethink our ways of consumption in order to cherish our world. Of course the consumer plays an important role in this as our demand is tied with the supply. However, the production side is potentially even more important, meaning that a new sustainable way of producing could shape our future. Big bottling companies as NESTLÉ, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola should rethink their business model to a more ethical approach of doing business. Luckily some companies already strive towards a more sustainable world. Amongst others, Dopper is one company that can be mentioned. They take a new stance that companies should incorporate by raising awareness, innovating the production cycle and by contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.  

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