While leaving for a day trip, mom confirms whether the water bottles and some light snacks are carried along. We would probably say, ”Oh mom! We will grab a bottle and some snacks on our way”. This is a scenario in most of our homes, isn’t it? We hardly think what our actions are going to reap in the future. In the above-mentioned scene, we didn’t think that that plastic bottles and snacks that seem so convenient and appealing to grab are pushing our future into a great catastrophe of the plastic world causing great damage to the environment and the health of the mortals. This will have a huge impact on our ecosystem.
Why do we use plastic?
Although plastic has done a lot well is a fact not to be denied. Plastic is very cheap, convenient, lightweight, and has multiple applications. It provides hygienic packaging materials, is durable, odorless, doesn’t decompose, is recyclable, acts as an insulator, is anti-corrosive, transparent, used in roads, wires, utensils, pipes, etc. Even though plastic has transformed the entire human race and that imagining the world without it is simply impossible, one cannot turn a blind eye to the harm its causing. It’s polluting the oceans, forests, agricultural lands, roads. Most beautiful and fragile places on the Earth are invaded by this ‘frenemy’.
Plastic’s effect on nature
Almost 8 million tons of plastic are found in oceans every year. Stray animals and those in sanctuaries as well often consume plastic impacting their health and life span and the ecosystem eventually. Plastic is a nonrenewable resource, it causes cancer, the recycling process is often time-consuming and economically inefficient are some more drawbacks to add to. Single-use plastic can be even worse and more threatening as it can’t be reused and needs to be discarded like the straws, coffee stirrers, most food packaging, pen bodies, etc. So what can be a possible solution to this? Should the government ban plastic completely or partially? Or should single-use plastic be banned?
To what extent banning work?
Banning single-use plastics will surely reduce the aquatic pollution and the pollution caused in landfills associated with greenhouse gas emissions. Banning single-use plastics means a reduction in their production and a gradual reduction in the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Although single-use plastics may be banned they can’t be discarded off completely when it comes to health and hygiene products, safety products, defense products. Whereas such plastic when used in the form of shopping bags, straws, cutlery items, etc can have alternatives.
Thus we come to the conclusion that although plastic can’t be discarded off completely yet we can reduce its impact by implying a ban on single-use plastic to some extent. Plastic can be banned completely as its application in some areas is inevitable. Many start-ups and entrepreneurs have come up with innovative ideas to replace plastic-like using paper or cloth bags, making use of various leaves for food packaging, using metal boxes, designing antique pieces out of plastic, remaking colorful plastic bags with the already existing ones, making plastic bricks, making chairs and strong furniture out of soft plastic, etc. These are just a few to name, we are on the path of more such creations. We can come up with more such solutions to make this mother earth a better place to live. As some contribution from our side, we can at least start with the 3 R’s that are- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
What can we do?
Reduce the generation of plastic waste and stay conscious about it every time. Try to reuse the plastic whenever you can. Our ancestors focused a lot on the reuse principle. Now it’s time for us to inherit the same. For instance, an old cloth can be used to clean the floor instead of just throwing it away. It can have a furthermore purpose. The last come recycling. Although it’s a time, energy, and money-consuming process yet it’s a vital one. We can’t ignore it we need to recycle plastics as the amount of plastic waste generated every day is huge. We need to work in groups or communities. Housing societies and governments should work in sync for proper disposal and recycling management. Together we can create a ‘HISTORY‘. Thus, we need to conduct awareness camps, webinars, hands-on projects to create a social impact. We need to get in touch with some environmental and social bodies like NSS, Rotaract clubs, colleges, etc.
It’s essential to take these baby steps as they are in turn going to prove the most effective ones. Some let’s pledge to abide by the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and recycle) and take every necessary step in the direction to eliminate plastic from our lives. We need to start this revolution.“ We need to do something drastic to get rid of the plastic” let us join hands together and support this noble cause for the well-being of us and the generations to come. Revolution comes with small but concrete steps and here we have these 10 ways in which we can reduce the havoc caused by plastic at our end.
Ways for the reduction of plastic
- Always prefer reusable carry/shopping bags
- Have your tea/coffee/juice from reusable cups, like glass or steel for instance
- Have visits at farmer’s production rather than opting for packaged foodstuff. This will have multiple goals satisfied simultaneously. First, reduce the plastic, secondly, it will improve your health and fill the pockets of our farmers
- Request suppliers to use less plastic wherever possible
- Gift reusable articles to your team
- Segregate dry and wet waste so that plastic can be easily extracted from the dry waste and recycled
- Encourage people around you to cut down on their plastic usage. Let it begin with your family itself
- Buy less. Avoid consumerism. Refrain from unnecessary stalking of items.
So let’s pledge to make this world a plastic-free world and adopt a more eco-friendly attitude.