Single use plastics, true to their name, have been singled out as the scourge of the plastics pollution that is drowning the earth and its oceans. Single-use plastics are everywhere, from our houses to the streets, the beaches. And it never goes away, they are not biodegradable but they do undergo photo degradation after which, in the oceans they scatter into “microplastics” which prove even more harmful to the aquatic life cycle.
Burning them up is an even worse idea. The carbon emitted in the production and incineration of plastic (LDPE or PET, Polyethylene) is about 6 kg CO2 per kg of plastic.
There needs to be change and it starts with each one of us at an individual level, here are five easy ways in which we can refuse single-use plastics:
1. Stock up your house and car with multiple reusable carry bags to avoid being forced to buy plastic bags,
Actually, most cities and states already have bans in place across India. Poorly implemented of course. But do you really want to wait for the government to act, or do something on your own?
- Say no to disposable cutlery, including those thermocol horrorsRefusing to use/accept plastic cutlery when eating outside or ordering in. Food Panda in Thailand recently launched an initiative which gave the customer an option to drop the plastic cutlery that is commonly provided with the food. Ordering food at home also means you don’t need those plastic spoons and forks, do you?3. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee mug,
This will drastically reduce the number of throw away coffee cups that are near impossible to break down and also reduce the need for plastic water bottles. Like some of us place utensils with water for the birds in the heat, look to join a group or petition your local representative to provide for drinking water facilities. You will be in good company, the city of London is also doing it for precisely the same reason.
4. Say no to disposable straws,
Single use straws have a huge pollution risk, metallic and/or bamboo straws are now available which will help reduce the number of plastic straws. Plus, drinking through straws apparently also means more air taken in, which in turn leads to bloating and worse. You don’t want that, do you?
5. Try Purchases from grocery stores and local markets,
Where products like cereals, grains, veggies, nuts etc. are sold loose and free of packaging. Avoiding heavily and/or unnecessarily packed foods.
Making just a few adjustments in our daily life can have a big impact on the amount of plastic that is consumed daily. Lead by example, take up initiatives and find out the good that you can do.