While throwing away the plastic waste have you ever imagined that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans. This is not only affecting the water life but the life on land too. The plastic waste we throw in the dustbin thinking that it will be recycled, only the 10% of it actually gets recycled and rest 90% gets buried or burnt. The world is concerned about this issue as this year the theme for the World Environment Day was 'Beating the plastic'. Many of these big companies have pledged to use recyclable, rechargeable, decomposable packing material.
What are we doing on our part? Isn't it our responsibility to do something for our environment?
Let's start from the beginning.
What is plastic?
A synthetic material made from a wide range of organic polymers such as polyethene, PVC, nylon etc. that can be moulded into shape while soft and then set into rigid or slightly plastic form. This is a definition, we read in our school books.
While watching television, using your computer, driving your car or travelling on a plane, train or bus, visit a hospital, shop at any grocery store, you are relying on plastics.
What is it and where does it come from?
It is derived from natural resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals and plants as well. Can you imagine the rubber from a rubber tree is actually plastic? Before plastic came into existence people use to use ivory or tortoise skull. Plastics, in general, are lightweight and highly durable. It is malleable so can be moulded into any shape and size.
Growing Indian plastic industry
Today in India, there are about 22000 plastic processing units and 150 plastic processing machinery manufacturers. The per capita consumption of plastic products in India is growing and moving towards 8% GDP growth. Since 1957, Indian Plastic market has made significant achievements, motivating the entrepreneurs in the country.
Behind such success how are we affecting our environment
According to Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Dave, India generates 15722 tonnes of plastic waste every day out of which 6000 tonnes remain uncollected. CPCB report 2014-15 states, India produced 51.4 million tonnes of solid wastes, of which 91% was collected, 27% was recycled and rest 73% got dumped.
Prachi Agarwal from Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, RO, Lucknow told Gaon Connection that this year on the occasion of World Environment Day, they had organised a series of events for a month, which included the awareness program. She told that during their awareness drive they had gone to every stall on Bada Mangal to tell them not to use plastic glasses and plates."We had organised a drawing competition and slogan writing competition for the students in Lucknow. The children were very excited and on June 5 they took out a rally for discouraging plastic in which all the ITBP officials and students took part. ".
Experts believe that plastic waste management may create many job opportunities. No doubt plastic is an incredibly useful product but as it is said that everything comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. It is produced with highly toxic compounds which can cause illness and is not biodegradable.
Effects of plastic pollution
It has an adverse effect on the food chain as it comes in all sizes thus it can affect a Plankton as well. This plastic waste prevents rainwater from reaching the ground. Even the toxins present in the plastic reach the groundwater. Imagine the poison you drink every day in the form of water.
Reuse, Recycle or REFUSE
Today converting the plastic into fuel is trending. This fuel can be used for both domestic and industrial purpose. Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun has developed a process through which polyethene and polypropylene can be converted either into gasoline or diesel.
Some people prefer to recycle their own mess
Dave Hakkens, a 29 years old guy from the Netherlands, calls it his own responsibility to take of his plastic waste. He has developed four machines that he uses to recycle the plastic and then make new things out of it. The best part is, he makes money out of it. He provides the blueprint of his machine for free as he says in his video that he wants to see the world clean. Well, his machines are really easy to make and anyone can afford them. You can simply make them out of your garage waste. You can find here how to make and use these machines for making a profit.
Who says you cannot earn out of waste?
A teacher has proved it wrong. Rashi Soni,21, a craft artist, from New Delhi. Her crafts are famous among people not only in Delhi but in Gurgaon as well.
She says that her grandmother inspired her from childhood. She runs a facebook and an Instagram page where people can contact her to place orders. She gets her raw material from Chandni Chowk and from her neighbourhood as well. She is an inspiration to young entrepreneurs not only in Delhi but all over the country. She says,"I want to say to the people that rather of throwing your plastic waste you can utilise it to make something really useful and it brings you happiness and money as well".
Such people in our society are really an inspiration for others. We need to understand that whatever we do, it affects others as well. So let's think about our actions and our environment too.