15 Jun, 2018

All of us are very much aware about plastic and its uses but, has any single one of us ever given a second thought regarding what all threats it could be posing to our environment, well not really! So, let us try and find answers to some of these common questions.Firstly, what is actually plastic pollution? Plastic pollution is the accumulation of waste plastic products which has adverse effects on both the wildlife and on humans. Plastic is an incredibly useful material, but not to forget, plastic is perhaps the most dangerous form of waste being dumped in the environment because plastic is made up of toxic compounds and is non-biodegradable which means that the plastic we go around dumping in the streets is not going to break down, instead it is going to stay there for the next 100 years or even more. Plastic is often termed as the ‘wonder material’ because of its in-numerous uses but not to forget, it has really bad impacts on the environment.Plastic causes all sorts of pollution and harms the beings in all possible ways. Plastic, when burnt in air, releases very harmful toxic compounds which when inhaled by animals cause respiratory issues. Many a times, marine animals mistake plastic to be a prey and try to feed on a thing which is indigestible and plastic in return enters the animal’s body and blocks and chokes the intestines of the animal ultimately killing it. Similar is the case with cattle, even they’re choked to death by plastic.PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride is the most common form of plastic being used today for storing and packaging and guess what; PVC can actually kill people because it is cancerous. PVC has been found to destroy the fertility of animals and can cause paralytic attacks when missed with water. The USA has banned the use of plastic, and India should do the same before it is already too late.  Today, a single walk on the beach and the waves deposit a lot of waste at my feet, why? Because 50% of the world ocean beds are already covered with plastic waste and that continues to pose threats to the marine life. We are destroying the aquatic habitat, shameful isn’t it?So, now that we gathered some information regarding the adverse effects so plastic on our environment, we should try and reduce our plastic intake and consumption. So I put forward a few steps which each one of us can follow at individual level to bring about a change, not only in Kullu or Himachal Pradesh but in India and worldwide.Firstly, always carry a spare reusable cloth or jute bag with you so that you do not have to accept any plastic Polly bags when you go out for shopping. Secondly, always carry a spare water bottle so that you don’t have to accept any bottled beverages when you go out. Thirdly, never use any straws at restaurants and try to buy things in boxes and not packets. Last but not the least; try to make more and more people aware.Recently, Rajgopalan Vasudevan, a Madurai professor developed a unique way to deal with plastic waste. He and developed and patented the idea of using it in making roads and moreover, the roads he made are more durable and are water resistant. Belgium has recycled the plastic waste and has used it in making 3D glasses. If they can do it, why can’t we?Hence, we should always try and have a positive, innovative, creative and imaginative outreach for such things and should try and get motivated by such people and their ideas and should try to do the same. Even our ancestors were very concerned about the environment and always wanted peace and harmony with nature thus, we should continue doing so.