Plastic, once upon a time boon to mankind has come haunt us today and might spell doom of the environment for future generations. A look at garbage depots or even garbage strewn along streets or water bodies including oceans will give us an insight as to the enormity of the plastic menace. Everywhere it’s plastic. Right from clogging our drainage systems to filling up the oceans it’s everywhere. Stray cattle, animals, fish and birds already have their stomachs full of plastic leading to their untimely and early deaths. Plastic does not degenerate for centuries and this needs to be in the back of our minds .
The ease of production, light weight, durability , malleability and cheap costs have made the use of plastic popular to a very large extent. Right from bags to plates, spoons, bottles, straws everything is plastic. The single use plastics are of even a bigger concern. This has to be curtailed in time else it will lead to doomsday. Plastic of course can’t be wished away, medical use intravenous bottles, syringes, three ways , catheters are a blessing which at present seems to have no other better alternative . Yet other single use plastics needs to be banned for the better of this universe.
Simple actions that will help us achieve this goal are many but it will require citizens whole hearted support, political will and our intent to save this planet for our future generations. 1. Lets begin with banning liquor of any quantity sold in plastic bottles. Liquor is not a necessity, hence this small action will help eliminating hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles reaching garbage yards or water bodies. Just pass the law. Do it.
2. Medicines dispensed in plastic bottles . Millions of plastic bottles can immediately be stopped. Alternatives are easily available and have been there for ages.
3. Water bottles, packaged drinking water is perhaps the highest contributor to this menace. Atleast for a beginning ban anything below one litre. That itself will help reduce plastic waste to a great extent. Raise the taxes on bottled water so that it’s use will come down to atleast some extent.
4. Cold drinks or soft drinks all of which from times immemorial came in glas bottles. Ban the use of plastic bottles in this industry with immediate effect. Consumption of soft drinks is perpetually increasing hence the ban on plastic bottling here is definitely going to be of a great help.
5. Single use plastic plates , stirrers, spoons, glasses, straws have already been banned in India, now it needs to be implemented strictly.
6. Single use plastic carry bags , the biggest menace, ban them all, irrespective of microns thickness. They are sold , used and disposed by million every hour. They can been seen in all road side garbage of varying colors and sizes. They are the cause of blockages in the drainage and storm water systems which have lead to flooding in monsoons. Ingested by all fauna causing illness and death .
The alternative to single use plastics are many, you need not reinvent the wheel. Just pass the laws and implement them strictly . Of course political will is important. Politicians will be pressurized and paid by the plastic manufacturing lobby not to bring about these laws. Governments need to be firm, it’s a universe we inherited from our father’s and forefathers, it’s our responsibility to pass it on to our future generations in a state where they too can enjoy it. Let’s hope good sense prevails over men and governments and we implement necessary actions immediately.