“A pandemic called plastic”
by Gita Dendukuri
- Some steps which can be implemented easily, immediately and universally include the following:
- Equip yourself with alternatives to plastic carrybags — cloth, canvas, jute and thick paper bags can be reused several times before we discard them. They are biodegradable.
- When you step out of the house, make sure you have a few of these bags of different sizes for unexpected purchases on the way. Make this an important habit .
- Do not accept items from any stores in thin polythene bags. Keep your own bag of appropriate size and material ready to take in the items you buy — perishable fruits, vegetables and flowers; pre-packed items including provisions, medicines, confectioneries; minor items from hardware, electrical stores, etc.
- For monthly groceries, make sure you have two or more bags made of tough material – jute, canvas, thick cotton or reusable synthetic bags — for different items — provisions, detergents and cleaning agents, other items.
- Encourage your family and friends to carry their own bags (foldable, rollable, collapsible), and not be tempted to accept polybags.
- Wherever feasible, make your own bags; gift bags to others.
- Spread awareness by your active participation in reviving/promoting bags, containers, gifts, toys and display items made from natural resources such as wood, cane, bamboo and jute.
- Think beyond temporary bans.
- Restore, develop and promote alternatives which do not destroy the environment.
Ultimately, it is we the citizens who will have to initiate and aggressively sustain yet another strong ‘People’s Movement’ to save ourselves and our planet, as well as protect future generations against the prevailing plastic pandemic.
Source : The Hindu