Plastics- A companion of fishes in the oceans, integral part of landfills and an inseparable part of human beings; the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and everything we do , we are wrapped around plastics even without knowing it. And as the world’s population continues to grow, so will the amount of plastics pollution that we produce . And what are the consequences?
• Negative Effects on Human Health
• Disturbance in food chain
• Groundwater Pollution
• Land and Air Pollution
• Cleaning expenses of Plastic waste
It's high time we realize that for living in a safe environment , it is necessary to cut down the plastic usage whenever and wherever possible. The campaign- PLASTIC FREE JULY aims to reduce the use of single-use plastics. It is not necessary to go out and buy a bunch of new things to be eco-conscious. Using effectively what you have on hand will decrease our environmental footprint. And instead of being scared off by “plastic free” – the goal is to reduce – even if you can’t eliminate some things completely. Once we change our mindset, we will be a lot more aware as a consumer, which should lead to changes organically. Not all plastics are harmful , but if it is not disposed probably it can be hazardous. As there is enhancement in technologies, we have so many eco friendly and sustainable alternatives with us which will not only help to save our deteriorating environment but also inculcate sustainable living standards. Implementation of 5R' s of Sustainability
1. Refuse Refuse unnecessary plastic serve ware. Refuse a plastic bag when you pick up items at store. Bring your own reusable bags (cloth or paper bags) to the grocery.
2. Reduce Reducing the usage of single use plastics can automatically reduce the accumulation of plastics waste in the landfills and oceans. This will also reduce the cost for cleaning of plastic waste .
3. Reuse The goal is to eventually move toward reusable, sustainable household items. Invest in eco friendly products that don’t contain microplastics. Use what you have first so you don’t waste. The process of switching over may take a long time, but eventually will drastically reduce your waste.
4. Rethink or Repurpose Rethinking is reimagining or repurposing of making your old items new by bringing changes in the product to maximize productivity. Making old sauce jars into storage containers or growing plants out of your old egg-shells. Repurposing can be really fun and rewarding.
5. Recycle Recycling is great, but it should always be your last resort. You should always try to reuse, repurpose or refuse items first. You should separate your plastic, paper and garbage into appropriate cans. If your workplace or local cafe don’t recycle – take responsibility for your trash .
This Plastic Free July , what can be the alternatives for plastics ?
• We drink microplastics via bottled water, plastic bottles are typically made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), it takes over 400 years to decompose naturally resulting in landfills . To reduce this , many companies now sell reusable water bottles as a substitute, reducing plastic waste and exposure to leaking bottles. The best thing you can do is carry a reusable metal bottle in your bag.
• Plastic bags were once a modern convenience but can be efficiently replaced by reusable bags, many of which fold up compactly to be portable.
• Plastic food containers, lids, and utensils are all easily replaced by reusable containers, which will cut down significantly on even a single meal’s waste.
• Try and select items that come in non-plastic recycled and recyclable packaging, to do your best to handle items that can’t be reused properly.
• Avoid cosmetics and personal hygiene products having microbeads. Although life without plastics won't be easy but every little bit counts and if we start from today we will surely reach to a point where plastics usage will be less in comparison of today .
We have already destroyed our environment and we are only the solution to regenerate it for our upcoming generations. "The ultimate test of Man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future " Let's start with sacrificing the single-use plastics.
- Contributed by : Rima Mondal https://www.linkedin.com/in/rima-mondal-aa1b94160/