The most frequently asked question while talking about habit change for plastic culture is ‘What is the problem with Plastic’ and ‘Is it that serious?’. Well, the problem isn’t with ‘using’ plastic, the problem is the detrimental effects it has on our biodiversity and environment. Remember the plastic bottle you threw away on the street yesterday? That will far outlive you and your future children. Almost every piece of plastic that was made still exists. Also, we dump approximately 8 million tons of plastic waste into the sea every year. That counts to one bin lorry every single minute. The plastic garbage patch is bigger than GREENLAND with a toxic scum of approximately 10 feet deep, containing over 7 million tons of plastic. More than 90,000 marine animals die every year because of plastic waste by either consuming it’s remains or due to abnormalities. Plastic does not degrade, it merely breaks down into finer pieces and release extremely dangerous chemicals into the food and water that we consume.
So the question that arises now is- What exactly can we do about it?
First off, we need to learn. We must learn about how and what makes plastic such a big problem for us. What are the dangers that come hand in hand with using plastic and how will it affect human and animal health.
Secondly, we must take action IMMEDIATELY. Reduce your plastic use as much as you can. It doesn’t take much time to get rid of single-use disposable plastic from our life. By doing this, not only will we have a direct effect but we will also set an outstanding example to others near us. For any habit to become a ‘habit’, we must first try to change our lifestyle and for a lifestyle to last, it needs to be realistic and sustainable. Making small changes in our daily routine might bring us good results. For example, keeping a canvas bag in our handbags, in our cars, or at our place of work so that we don’t need to purchase a plastic bag from the market. Also, fruits and vegetables often have their own protective layer so there is no extra need go cover them in plastic. By carrying small cotton sacks or baskets, we can fetch our daily supply of fresh greens from the market! As far as the usage of plastic bottles is considered, we can reduce the number of plastic bottles that we use and ensure that we recycle the ones that we use, and carrying our personal water bottle is the best solution available. Avoiding plastic packaging for readymade food products can be very tough but it is not very hard to avoid plastic cutlery. Carrying our personal fork or spoons in the bag is a good alternative as it does not take much space in our bags and doing that will also save us dozens of unnecessary plastic every day. And last but not the least, SPREAD THE WORD. Tell your family and friends why you are trying to cut down on plastic, tell your colleagues about the problems of using plastic straws. But try not to make your family and circle feel guilty for using plastic. It’s a personal journey and an individual decision. Try to spread the word as much as you can. Good luck!