Blogs

Plastic - A cause of devastation

30 Sep, 2019

Plastic is material consisting of any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and so can be molded into solid objects.Plasticity is the general property of all materials which can deform irreversibly without breaking but, in the class of moldable polymers, this occurs to such a degree that their actual name derives from this specific ability.Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, however, an array of variants are made from renewable materials such as polylactic acid from corn or cellulosic from cotton linters.Due to their low cost, ease of manufacture, versatility, and imperviousness to water, plastics are used in a multitude of products of different scale, including paper clips and spacecraft. They have prevailed over traditional materials, such as wood, stone, horn and bone, leather, metal, glass, and ceramic, in some products previously left to natural materials.Today, you can hardly look around you and not spot some item that is made entirely from plastic or has some plastic ingredient. This only proves that from its inception up to now plastic has managed to become popular building material of millions of useful items, but it is not perfect. Plastic has several disadvantages that prevent it from becoming universal building block of modern human civilization, and because of that many governments strictly control its use and create complex law that govern its creation, recycling and environmental impact of waste plastic and chemicals that are used in its creation.

Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of plastic:

Durability – Plastic is light, moldable, sturdy, and can have countless forms, but one of the most known features is its durability. Plastic is artificially created polymer compound which can survive many centuries before nature is able to degrade it (some degrade into basic ingredients and some only divide into very small pieces). This troublesome ability of plastic doesn’t have great immediate impact on our environment, but its continuous dumping into seas and land will eventually create problems for future generations. Even with all this durability, plastic products are not indestructible and it cannot be used as a basic building block for everything we need.

Environmental Harm – Ever increasing plastic production since 1950s managed to saturate world with waste plastic product that can cause big effects on our environment. Decomposing of plastic product can last from 400 to 1000 years with newer “degradable” compounds, but before that degradation can happen waste plastic will continue to clog our waterways, oceans, forests, and other natural habitats that are filled with animals who mistake dangerous plastic for food. Chemical dangers are also high, because both creation and recycling of plastic produce toxic materials of many kinds.

Chemical Risk – Not only that creation and recycling of plastic can cause serious environmental risk, but some of the additives that are infused in plastic can cause permanent harm to our metabolism. Chemicals such as phthalates and BPA are widely used as an additive that prevents degrading of plastic structure, but they also interfere with our natural hormone levels which can cause serious problems to both males and females (lower testosterone levels in men, and premature girl puberty).

Choking Hazard – Plastic is one of the most popular building materials for small items. This is most evident in toy industry, where vast majority of children toys is manufactured with plastic. These toys and small plastic objects of many uses can easily get into children’s hands (especially babies and toddlers) that unknowingly put them in their mouth. To prevent these serious accidents, governments have implemented detailed set of rules which force manufacturers to clearly label their plastic products and warn users of the possible chocking potential. Another problematic plastic product that can cause serious injuries or death are plastic bags (grocery or trash bags)who can sometimes end up wrapped around children faces, disrupting their breathing.

Knowing al these facts, and being the best school in kullu, L.M.S. provides every necessary knowledge to it's creative minds to make them aware about the growing topic of concern i.e. plastic and also to provide them overall development so that they may groom in every field and rise high.

Not only it provides awareness but also makes the little children future ready by giving them ways in order to combat the devastating plastic.

 Here are 17 ways to reduce your plastic waste:

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw
  2. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often! 
  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. 
  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
  5. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging. 
  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop
  8. Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use Styrofoam. 
  9. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter. 
  • Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you'll be eating fewer processed foods! 
  • Don't use plastic ware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
  • Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
  • The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the US each year. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money. 
  • Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.
  • Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades inset

              “ Don’t be a part of pollution, be a part of solution”

By

Manish Singh Gusain

Class - X