High time to chase away imperishable demons

High time to chase away imperishable demons

For over 70 years, the world’s plastic usage has grown inexorably from humble beginnings to a position where humanity now produces roughly its own...

Hyderabad: For over 70 years, the world’s plastic usage has grown inexorably from humble beginnings to a position where humanity now produces roughly its own weight in plastic every year.

We are habituated to carry home goods in plastic bags and when we arrive home, we quickly remove them like a kid opening a gift box and toss aside the wrapping with thoughtless abandon. Let us stop for a minute today and consider what happens to those plastic bags?

Let today July 3, which happens to be the International Plastic Free Day a turning point in our life. International Plastic Free Day is dedicated to heightening awareness about these very real and pressing issues brought about by this most popular disposable carrying devices. We are reminded that those bags we pick up from the retailers are used for incredibly short time and then disposed of.

They pass out of our thinking then, but they do not pass out of our world. Plastic bags remain in the world for anywhere from 100---500 years before finally decaying completely and have profound impact upon our environment as well. The Hans India wants its readers to be ahead of the curve and be role models and set an example by discarding plastic. All that is needed is a pledge that we will use anything but plastic. Do you think it’s possible to live life without plastic? Or to at least live with less of it? Check out this list of plastic-free and less plastic alternatives and see for yourself.

The list is not meant to be overwhelming but simply to show what is possible. Choose a few that seem doable and that will make the most impact. No one can do it all at once. But we can all get started!
Not only does it come in a plastic bottle, but tremendous resources are used to extract, bottle, and ship it. And many brands of bottled water are simply filtered tap water.

Get a reusable stainless steel bottle or stainless steel travel mug, fill it up with tap water before leaving the house, and refill it wherever you happen to be. Plastic may leach chemicals into the water and aluminium bottles are lined with an epoxy resin, some of which has also found to leach into water.

Disposable plastic items are so common that it is easy not to notice them. But disposable plastic is everywhere — ubiquitous plastic bottles of water or soda; plastic straws delivered in our drinks; plastic bags offered to us at stores; plastic cups, bottles and utensils at nearly every social event; plastic packaging of nearly everything in the supermarket.

Once you see all this stuff for what it truly is — plastic pollution — it is simple to just refuse. Currently in India, there is only one law that is in place – No manufacturer or vendor can use a plastic bag which is below 50 microns as thinner bags pose a major threat to the environment due to its non-disposability. The usage of plastic bags is still high as the ban is not implemented on all plastic bags.

Many big brands and vendors have started charging the customers for the polybags in order to commercially discourage them, but it has so far not been effective as there is no law or guidelines that say shopkeepers should charge money from the customers for the polybag. Let us resolve to always carry your own bags whenever you shop, not just for the supermarket. By bringing your own bag, you alone can save between 400 and 600 plastic bags per year. Consider some easy alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic straws that come in nearly every restaurant glass.

Take our pledge to skip the straw - “No straw for me, please!” Many of us are aware of the need to do something about plastic pollution but lack means or tools to be part of the solution. It needs to be made more widely known that the alternatives to plastic exist so that people can consciously choose to use less plastic.

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