JP – Hello!
PP – Hey guys! Long time no see! How are you?
PS – I’m fine.
JP – Me too. What about you?
PP – Great as always. So, what have you guys been up to in these past months?
JP – You know. Finishing the school year and studying for the exams. Thank God they are over now. Haven’t done anything forthe past week. Just resting!
PS – As for me, I’ve been mostly just watching TV. I was lucky enough to watch some really interesting documentaries about saving Planet Earth.
PP – That’s nice. Do you guys remember the lake we used to go to a lot when we were younger?
PS – Of course! Oh, those warm summer afternoons. Good times…
JP – Indeed they were. I miss them a lot.
PP – You knowwhat? We could all go there and catch up! It’s been some months since the three of us have been together. What about going this weekend?
PS – Fine by me. I’ve got nothing to do.
JP – What? Really? Didn’t you hear about what has been happening there these last years?
PP – No.
PS – Neither have I.
JP – Really? Since they built the factory there, the water has become hugely contaminatedwith all the toxic chemical waste.
PP – Those cursed factories! Destroying such a beautiful lake with all that waste.
PS – Well to be fair and honest you can’t just blame the factories. Industrial waste is one of the many kinds of toxic waste. Take those huge animal farms for an example. Do you have any idea how much waste they produce?
PP – Yes. As you may know, I’m a vegetarian. Ibecame one to protect the environment, but also to reduce the waste of food resources, since growing crops can feed more people than killing animals.
JP – You could always talk about the agriculture. Nowadays lots of fertilizers and pesticides are used to keep the plants alive and to make them grow faster. Some of them are toxic to other beings.
PP – Yeah sure but most of them come from industryand commerce. I know even we’re to blame for this issue. Cleaning and cosmetic products really add up and make up for a large amount of trash. Even the pharmaceuticals from medical facilities sometimes end up being waste.
JP – Don’t forget about radiation. Radioactive materials are the most dangerous kind of waste. This kind of material comes from not only nuclear powerplants but also frommilitary tests.
PS – You’re both pretty well informed I see. In one of the documentaries I saw they talked about one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. It was in Goiânia in Brazil. Someone stole radiotherapy equipment from the hospital and ended up contaminating more than 200 people, resulting in the death of four of them.
JP – If I’m not wrong a few years back a memorial service washeld to mark 50 years since the official discovery of the Minamata disease.
PP – I think I also heard about that. During the 50s in Japan a place called Minamate Bay was heavily polluted. The mercury infected water poisoned the fish living in it which resulted on the poisoning of the people who ate it. More than 10 thousand people were affected. There must be something we can do.
JP – Well,most of the responsibility to stop these situations lies with corporations. It’s in their hands to stop these kinds of catastrophes. Things like minimizing pollutants in their products can go a long way…
PS – I heard on CNN that new technologies will enable industries to recover valuable materials from their waste streams and to reduce waste generation.
PP – What about disposing of toxicwaste?
JP – Good question. Correct disposal of toxic waste is very important... Did you know they built the golf course near my house over a toxic waste underground storage facility?
PP – Eww! That’s gross! Isn’t that dangerous and reckless?
PS – It isn’t. They’re called “brownfields”, and they’re actually one of the best ways of disposing of toxic waste. Better that than in the ocean…