On the 5th of June which was World environment day this year,’ beat plastic pollution’, was the theme and India made a big announcement to wipe out all the single use plastics from the country by 2022. Though India is a developing nation, it is a fast growing economy and the reduction of the use of plastic from 130 crore people and hundreds of businesses will help in shaping India in a good way and will be helpful in contributing to the economic development of the country.
Why is plastic bad?
Plastic is a material that is made to last forever and most of the plastic is thrown after using it a few times. Water bottles, bags and straws are all made of plastic and are just used once or twice and thrown away. The sad and shocking part is, it is not biodegradable and is broken down into smaller pieces, which also remain forever.
Plastic litter our coasts, seas, forests, cities, towns and villages. Plastic takes about 1000 years to decompose. There are some plastics that take 500 years. It all depends on the plastic on how much time it takes to decompose but still its decomposition is never easy.
Even though you can burn plastic waste, it releases harmful chemicals into the environment. Different kind of plastics give out different kind of emissions and some like PVC can even kill human beings.
Plastic also looks extremely ugly and having plastic waste around makes you get a very unsettling feeling. Imagine you are travelling to a beautiful place but even the holiday spot is filled with this waste. That is exactly what is happening in our country. Though this is a superficial issue, plastic ruins your visit to a holiday spot or your walking or a visit to the beach.
Plastics are made from coal and crude oil which are unsustainable products. Plastic also kills animals. Major of the affected animals tend to be sea creatures who mistake plastic for jelly fish and eat it. Animals think they have found a meal and eat all the plastics on the road . Humans also eat plastic without knowing. Whenever you have sea food, you are also eating traces of plastic that is mixed in the ocean. When chemicals contaminants go inside from the plastic, it can be a threat to our health.
Are plastic bags a matter of convenience or a curse to the environment?
It is high time that we start thinking seriously about issues like this and give science and environment more importance than our convenience. It is so fascinating how we have advanced so much, but we still have no major solutions to using plastic. Plastic packaging is used on thousands of products worldwide and most of it is a waste that fills roads.
More and more supermarkets and hypermarkets are taking a stand against the use of plastic bags but still the ban has not been easy. Shopping for groceries using plastic bags is an everyday sight and is something that needs to be reduced drastically.
If people change the way they perceive plastic and the dangers related to it, a lot can be achieved.
What can you do?
There is so much that we can do to reduce the plastic consumption. If we want to act more responsibly, we can say no to plastic straws, plastic waste bottles, stop using plastic cutlery, start using cotton bags, avoid using cosmetics that have micro beads.
The other thing we can keep is mind is to avoid the use of plastic as far as possible. We should constantly be thinking of alternatives. We can also think twice before buying a product that is made of plastic or something that is packaged using plastic. We can also educate ourselves and tell our friends and family about it.
You can also educate your kids about it. Kids care deeply about wildlife and you can discuss and brainstorm with them about how to avoid plastic or plastic packaging.
If you care about the environment, use cotton bags
A cotton bag is not bad for the environment and is also an ethical fashion statement. Cotton bags are increasingly being seen as affordable and convenient. Cotton bags are used from renewable natural fibers and they are biodegradable. Cloth and cotton bags are also thicker which make them a better option to store your everyday essentials like money, purse, notebooks, and wet tissues and you can use them every day without worrying too much about it as they are made from plants. These cloth bags are more durable than plastic bags.
Cotton bags are all about style and convenience. They come in different sizes and shapes. These bags also have quotes that can relate to from everyday life which give you a unique and quirky look.
Though cotton bags are not free, it is still a much better option than a plastic bag that is a threat to the environment. You can use your cotton bags for your karate class, for shopping, for carrying books. Cotton bags can be used to pack a picnic lunch, can be used to store your workout clothes in the gym and can be used to store vegetables in the fridge. Baby diapers can be stored in the cotton bags and you can also gift stylish cotton bags to friends. These are just a few things you can do with cotton bags.
Plastic ban in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu will be banning single use plastic from January 2019. This news came much earlier and the citizens have few months more before the ban comes into use. Shoppers have been educated about this and consumers have been asked to make the switch to biodegradable and cotton bags. There have also been many campaigns in schools and this time it looks like the ban is going to be of serious implementation.
Though the responses have been mixed from the people, environmental couldn’t be happy. Why wait till the beginning of 2019. Change your outlook now and think twice before using plastic. Even shop owners are happy about the positive change and are welcoming the move made by the government.
Take an Oath… Say No to Plastics 🙂