Restrain from using Plastic, Regain a safe life

Anjali Pandey
The Scribble Squad
Published in
5 min readSep 18, 2020

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Where people were taking challenges like the Ice Bucket Challenge and Kiki Challenge, some countries were favoring the Plastic Free July Challenge. These are the need of the hour. The healing of the earth during the lock-down phase of the COVID-19 pandemic made us realize how we are de-stressing our planet. It’s high time we save it!

Out of all the waste, “plastic” has turned out to be the worst one. We are living on a planet of Plastic! The presence of plastic is in all spheres of our life is a real quandary. Logically, we all know there is a problem, but aren’t we turning nonchalant towards it?

What is the Plastic Free Challenge all about?

A global movement started in 2011 with a vision to see a plastic-free world, by Rebecca Prince -Ruiz (founder of Plastic Free Foundation) with her small group in Western Australia. Over the past few years, millions of people of the U.S. and other countries across the world refrain themselves from using plastic. ~ https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

People wholeheartedly step into this challenge to minimize the use of plastic and lessen plastic pollution. With overwhelming response, many countries in this regard have banned single-use plastic, plastic bags, and plastic straws. The campaign blossomed with a drastic cut in the use of plastic and it encouraged recycling.

This campaign also crops up with ideas to avoid single-use plastic at homes, offices, schools, and localities.

Let’s become a part of this crucial and noble challenge. The detailed information of the campaign is here: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

Picture Credit: freepik.com

Some facts related to plastic

Single-use plastic has become an integral part of our life because it’s ubiquitous and cheap. It’s a known fact that plastic takes 1000 years to decompose. Throwing it all around gives an ugly and unhygienic view.

Soil pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and sewage blockages proliferate day by day resulting in the deterioration of our eco-system. Cattle and especially marine animals engulfing plastic seem more ominous.

Surprisingly, the plastic waste we produce every year, even half of their amount does not get recycled. Rest can be found dumped on streets and in water bodies. Single-use plastic is a threat and it must be recycled, we have enough opportunities in our country.

Must have gone through the fact or heard it somewhere, if this situation will continue, then we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

Because of the widespread creation of plastic waste, scientists have even suggested it could serve as a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era.

Anthropocene era is described as the most recent period of Earth’s history where human activity started and impacted the planet ~nationalgeographic.org

We find ourselves marooned in this situation, our day starts with a toothbrush in our hand, which is also made up of plastic. For the entire day, either we revolve around plastic or plastic revolves around us.

COVID- 19 and Plastic

Over the past few months, it is quite arduous to set aside plastic. Corona has increased single-use plastic involvement, making it difficult for plastic fighters. The massive use of PPE kits, mask, and disposable materials at home, hospitals, restaurants, and offices have created a new scene.

Even restaurants and other food cafes are using plastic disposables for being on the safe side and it’s appreciable on their part. But have we ever thought of its long term impact? One must learn from the mistakes, keeping ourselves secure and hurting the nature is again a bad sign.

The pictures of gloves and mask laden streets, oceans, and seas are heart-wrenching!

According to some estimates, people are using approximately 130 billion face masks globally, hitherto.

Picture Credit: freepik.com

A quick look into the ill-effects of mask:
• Masks are made up of synthetic resins which is a basic raw material of plastic.
• It turned out to be a new threat as it is one-time use.
• Disposed off masks are resulting in landfills. The blockage of oceans and seas is frequent.
• These masks, when disposed into water bodies, break into smaller particles. Aquatic animals engulf them assuming it to be food, and they die.

Conservatives warn how COVID waste dumped in water bodies may result in more masks than jellyfishes.

Picture Credit: freepik.com

However, if you are determined, nothing can stop you from a positive effort. It’s hard to do everything but we can do at least something and it will add up, just slow down the use of plastic.

Government and individual organizations are doing a lot! We need some requisite measures from our side as well.

Every coin has two sides, and similarly, where there is a problem creator, we also have a problem solver!

One recent innovative idea adopted by a startup company Eco365 is commendable — dumped plastic bottles are recycled into masks. These masks are then provided to Corona health workers. Plastic bottles waste re-used and it’s cheap -this idea is killing two birds with one stone. Isn’t it great?

All we have to do is stop for a while and think, what can we do from our side? Even a small step from our side can make a huge difference. If we intend and take a cerebral approach of well -known but lesser adopted techniques of reduce, reuse, and recycle, then we can achieve a milestone.

Picture Credit: freepik.com

Fun fact: The literal meaning of the word plastic is- ‘which can be easily molded, so why not mold this devil in such a way that it completely disappears?

What should we do now? Small changes bring big outcomes!

  • Gear up on cotton and re-usable masks
  • Observe plastic around you and think about the alternatives
  • Avoid plastic bottles and plastic bags
  • Ask the shopkeeper to provide paper bags instead of a plastic ones
  • Try to use cardboard cartons for packaged materials rather than plastic wraps
  • Always segregate garbage for dry waste, wet waste, and for plastics

Even a single step taken by one person will create a ripple effect. We are what we leave behind us, people remember us through our deeds. So, it’s up to us to decide which legacy we’ll pass on to the next generation.

Manufacturers, industrialists, retailers, and consumers must come forward to combat plastic use. We are accountable for this mess so it’s our responsibility to clear this out.

We can and together we will! So let’s bid farewell to plastic.

What’s your plastic-free challenge?

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Anjali Pandey
The Scribble Squad

Avid writer and vivacious reader. Learning and exploring new things never goes out of fashion 😊