IELTS Writing Essay | What can governments do to reduce the amount of rubbish?

IELTS Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Nowadays we are producing more and more rubbish. Why do you think this is happening? What can governments do to reduce the amount of rubbish produced?

Give reasons for your answer and any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.



General Training IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Essay

The problem of rubbish is not a new phenomenon; however, the quantity now being produced is cause for concern. Part of this is due to the fact that we are now more enlightened as to how we dispose of rubbish and the effects it has on the environment. Traditionally in the UK, landfill sites and incineration plants have been the two most widely used methods of eliminating rubbish. Both methods have some advantages, but they also cause additional problems and impact our environment in a negative way.

The increasing quantity of rubbish requiring to be disposed of can be linked directly to the major changes in lifestyle and culture within the country. The UK population has adopted a ‘throw away’ or ‘disposable’ culture with regards to many things. Mending or repairing everyday objects are no longer common activities, and in fact, manufacturers design many products in a way that it is now no longer feasible or economically viable to repair them. Cellular phones are an ideal example, where the technology is replaced and superseded so rapidly that many people buy a new phone every year or at least every other year.

Many products are now heavily packaged, partly due to marketing and branding concerns and also because they are produced in other countries and need to be transported great distances before appearing on retail shelves across the country. This packaging is not simply brown paper, which could possibly be used to wrap something else in or a generic box which could be recycled or used again, it is generally product specific and consumers usually dispose of it in their household trash.

In my opinion, it is not up to the government to design solutions. People must be conscious of the consequences of their decisions, and manufacturers must take responsibility for their marketing actions. If people wish to consume, then they should do so responsibly and try to reuse or recycle their packaging materials. Manufacturers could easily design reusable packaging, or incentivize consumers to dispose of it in a controlled manner.

Being aware of the problem is the most important step. We have already seen many recycling schemes set up in this country; however, the UK has now slipped backwards and recycles less than it did ten years ago. Countries such as Austria recycle much more than the UK.

New technology is always being developed for disposing of rubbish, but one of the most helpful things we could do as a population, is to try and reduce the quantity of rubbish we send to traditional landfill and incineration plants, through our own actions, and being more aware of how our consumption directly impacts our environment.

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