One of the major threats to the environment is from Plastic. Plastic in a lay man’s term is a synthetic material that can be easily molded in any form and is nonbiodegradable. The incessant manufacturing of plastic and its indiscriminate use has made it omnipresent. Today plastic is found in everything from a small toy to a big transport vehicle.

Introduction

The indiscriminate use of plastic has resulted in the dumping of tons of plastic waste into our landfills and oceans. According to a study in2018 380 Million tons of plastic is produced the world over, out of which only 9% gets recycled and 12 % gets incinerated. The rest goes to our landfills and water bodies.

The effective steps to beat plastic pollution are given below-

1) Don’t buy Water bottles

     Around 50 Billion water bottles are consumed the world over, out of which millions reach our landfills and water bodies and oceans. It takes three times the volume of water to manufacture a bottle than it takes to fill it and the water is unusable because of the chemical production of plastic. Water bottles can be seen strewn across all the places of human habitation especially places attracting tourists like beaches, waterfalls, temples, hill stations, etc. We have become so oblivious to the cause of environmental pollution, that we don’t give it a second thought before buying that water bottle to quench our thirst. Every bottle purchased by us ends up in plastic garbage somewhere harming our environment and decreasing its purity.

2)  Shun Polythene bags

     Polythene Bags have become an inseparable part of our life and are found in abundance in places of human activity. Plastic bags of various shapes and sizes are used to handle our daily supplies from the nearby grocery store or vegetable market.  We are so addicted to the use of plastic bags that we cannot imagine going to market without it. Every time you come out of your favorite shop, with a plastic bag in your hand, you are doing harm to the environment. Each year millions of tons of greenhouse gases are produced as byproducts in the manufacturing of plastic bags, not to mention the harm they do to our environment besides contributing to global warming. Also, polythene bags pose a threat to the life of animals too, as they tend to eat them while searching garbage for food. Every year Millions of plastic bags reach our ecosystem and the harm they do cannot be imagined.

3)  Ditch plastic cups

      Billions of plastic cups and other items like plates, spoons, etc are dumped throughout the world each year. In India alone, around 20 billion plastic cups are produced annually, much of which reaches our environment and pollutes it. Small mounds of plastic cups and plates can be seen beside any tea shop in the market or after a public gathering of some kind. In the absence of an effective waste disposal mechanism, it lay there slowly reaching into the soil and washed down into our water bodies with rain.

Plastic cups pollute everything that they get into owing to their nonbio degradability and pose a potential hazard to the life and health of all living forms.

4)  Use recyclable bags

    One of the most consumed forms of plastic is in the form of plastic bags. Plastic bags of various sizes are indiscriminately used around the world for various purposes. Much of bags used never get recycled and got dumped in our locality reaching landfill and water bodies. Plastic does not dissolve into anything but it does break down into smaller pieces releasing harmful gases. One of the solutions to curb pollution caused by plastic bags is the use of bags made from other environment-friendly degradable materials like paper, wood, jute, etc.

5) Leave no litter

    Littering is one of the major problems leading to plastic pollution all over the world. People visiting a place for enjoyment or simple gathering leave behind garbage consisting of cups plates, bottles made of plastic. Also, plastic packaging of different colors and sizes can be seen strewn all over the place. Every year millions of plastic waste are dumped on sea beaches by visiting tourists and is washed deep into the sea disturbing marine life. It is for the sake of our environment and our own we must resolve to avoid littering next time we visit a place for business or for pleasure.

6) Wear recycled

    Plastic is used in the manufacturing of clothes for professional sports like swimming, cycling, etc.

Lately, the clothes industry has realized the perils of using plastic and started to switch gradually to more eco-friendly alternatives. If you are a sportsman, then its time you shun that fabric made of plastic and go for the other eco-friendly alternative.

7) Go plogging

     Plogging is a Swedish craze quickly spreading to the rest of the world. The term is a mix up of jogging and Swedish “Plocka upp” meaning pickup. It is a movement to encourage people to pick up the rag they encounter during a morning jog. When you see people toting through garbage during the morning walk or their hands filled with plastic bottles. They are Plogging. Plogging is developing as a new craze to clean our environment and quickly spreading the world over. Next time you go jogging, don’t leave that trash behind.

8) Make bulk purchases

    Next time you go shopping to a nearby market of grocery store make sure that you buy items in bulk to minimize the use of plastic bags and plastic packaging. Every time we visit market, we are handed items into a new bag which ultimately ends up in the garbage. If we make bulk purchase then we in a way cut down the use of plastic bags, doing our bit to the environment.

9) Community cleanup

    The idea of a clean Nation begins with a clean community. Take charge of cleaning your locality, at least twice a week especially on weekdays. Identify that dirty spot and clean it. Get other responsible people from your locality get involved too. Discuss about the ways in which the plastic garbage can be reduced and chart out an effective plan to discard the plastic waste. Clean your house of that plastic waste, clean your community and incinerate the waste in a place away from human habitation.

10) Aware people

      People must be made aware of the hazards of plastic pollution and the danger that it poses to the environment as well as to our future generation. Meetings should be organized to make people understand the responsibility they have to the environment and all other living forms. How plastic is a slow poison for our water bodies, soil, and air and to the environment. Tell them about the steps that could be taken to reduce plastic pollution like using alternative materials, shunning plastic bags, carrying your own water bottle etc.

Conclusion.

Plastic pollution is a major problem that the world faces today, which could lead to disastrous consequences and a depletion of our natural resources, gradually leading to the demise of all living forms. The responsibility of cleaning our environment rests on us and we need to act quickly and sternly towards cleaning our community, streets, roads, water bodies etc from plastic waste. 

By Abha