Irresponsible consumption drowns the city

Melissa Lilián Velázquez Ramírez, México, 15-18 years.

I live in Monterrey, Mx, one of the cities with the greatest industrial development in the country, which entails an exponential growth in the population. It can be said that we have become a society in which responsible consumption is the last thing that is practiced, and therefore, it is not surprising that waste management is not a priority either. Have you ever wondered where all the litter that we generate on a daily basis goes? You buy it, use it, it no longer serves you and you throw it away, but after throwing it away you forget about its existence. According to SIMEPRODE (State System for Ecological Management and Waste Processing), up to 5,900 tons of solid waste is generated per day, but only 5 percent manage to be reused (1).

We waste an unnecessary amount of plastic, and it is something that is experienced every day. I could list several examples in which this situation could be described. Such is the case of disposables that we use at parties and meetings that are made from materials that are not reused or recycled, and they all end up in the same place: the trash. Styrofoam, plastic or cardboard cups and plates quantity, all generating a surprising amount of garbage.

Not only plastic, but also fabrics are discarded. The influence of marketing and media encourages us to make purchases that, if we analyze, we can avoid; for example, clothes, which we often use for a little time and then discard. I have heard people say that they have “no clothes” and have to go and get new pants or blouses because they are ashamed of being seen with the same outfit. Another example occurs in supermarkets, which, although they have implemented reusable bags regulations, continue with the trend of using plastics for packaging products like fruits, meat, etc., without considering the consequences that we will see in the long term. The list of examples is long, but what is important to emphasize is the effort we have to make so that this problem does not overwhelm us.

Once we are fully aware of the problem, it is important to have an action plan to stick to it. It would be unrealistic to say that we will start to recycle all of our residues or consume less because if it is something we are not used to, it would be hard to change our habits from one day to the next for good. What I suggest is yes, reduce the consumption of packaged products, but because it can be difficult in the culture in which we live, supporting local markets would be the most viable option. A good reason to go to local markets to buy things from our basic basket is that since they are normally very close to our houses, we reduce some of the polluting emissions that we would have produced by going to the supermarket. Packaging is reduced since the products do not travel as much and do not need as much protection, in addition to the fact that we will only consume seasonal fruits and vegetables. As for clothing, these markets offer second-hand clothing, which if you search you can find great pieces at an unbelievable cost.

The bottle you just threw may be insignificant right now, but 1 bottle per day, multiplied by the number of people who inhabit this city, is turning us into a city flooded, but with garbage.


  1. Campos, C.. En NL se reutiliza solo el 5% de desechos diarios: Simeprode (In Nuevo León, only 5% of daily waste is reused: Simeprode). ABD noticias, May 2022. Accessed on March 2023. Available at:

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