Serial Killer at your home
I was playing on my phone when mom asked me to go grocery shopping with her. Huffing and puffing I agreed. I saw her carrying a big cloth bag with her. I didn’t think much of it as I thought it was because of the recent imposition of restrictions over polythene bags. We went to our usual vendor, bought the vegetables we needed but we still ended up taking the plastic bags home. All confused I asked my mom, why did she even bring the big cloth bag if she didn’t plan to use it as a sustainable replacement. The answer, in reality, did not surprise me; it actually made me face the harsh reality. She said, “I understand all about the harmful effects of plastics but some things are not only convenient but are also a habit and habits die hard.” I cannot agree more with her.
Why do girls still use polythene bags to wrap their sanitary pads even when there are multiple other solutions available? Why do we still insist on the usage of plastic cups and plastic bottles when there are tons of reusable products available? Why is the food packaging is done in plastic even after knowing its harmful effects when there are like aluminium packaging available? Why are we still so hung up on plastic like a toxic ex when there are so many sustainable methods, products and replacements available out there? The answer is simple because plastic has become a habit that we just cannot escape from. It has been our go-to solution even when it is toxic in the long run.
Simply put, plastic has survived like no other material.
Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory says, “Survival of the Fittest” and plastic has grabbed that concept as if it’s Sheldon Cooper with photographic memory and supreme level narcissism which helps him get productive results even if they end up harming the people around. Not saying that it is all bad, it actually has opened up several opportunities and helped overcome innumerable challenges but the Plastic Age needs to end. Because when we were busy finding solutions using plastic, plastic was creating a threatening empire of its own and while doing so it became a weapon of mass destruction. The proof is, that over the last decade we have managed to produce more plastic than during the whole last century. That is multifariously excessive!
We are familiar with the term Plastic Pollution which is adversely affecting humans, wildlife habitat and environment. It accounts for 10 per cent of the total waste we generate. And this waste is non-biodegradable for the most part. It breaks down into microplastic which is even more harmful as scientists believe that this microplastic can spread all over the world just like dust particles, an example of which is the mountains receiving heavy micro plastic rainfall. It’s not only raining microplastic on the mountains, it’s virtually everywhere on Earth.
Another area Plastic Pollution is worsening is the water bodies. Plastic makes close to 90 per cent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. In the ocean, it breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one-litre plastic bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. It is so big it is said to be twice the size of Texas. This floating mass of plastic is responsible to kill one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals annually.
Then there are facts like 33 per cent of all plastic - water bottles, bags and straws - are used just once and thrown away, piling it up on environment where they start releasing the toxic chemicals which are harmful to both animals and humans. These chemicals like bisphenol A and phthalates break down into smaller units which are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us exposing us to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments. Wildlife becomes entangled in this when they eat it or mistake it for food even feeding it to their young ones.
All in all this weapon of mass destruction needs to be cut to establish sustainability. We need to take our steps now for a sustainable future. Using zero wastewater bottles and saying no to plastic lunch boxes and coffee lids is something we all can do. Instead of littering around giving a chance to 3-R s is not only eco friendly but smart too. We need to take the ban on plastic seriously it sure may leave a void because the traditional method is no more with us but taking a step into the better future with sustainable products will surely not let you feel that void.
It’s time to be fitter than plastic and win the race.
If it knows Darwin you know Sustainify.