Few months ago, India hosted the 45th “World Environment Day” 2018, with the theme “BEAT PLASTIC POLLUTION” . Reverbrating UN environments call to ditch plastic and increase awareness on the adverse effect of plastic pollution, India will look to send a strong message to the world on step being taken to deal with plastic pollution .
Plastic has been indispensable material in modern society. Worldwide, one million plastic bags and millions of plastic bottles are produced every minute . In India , which constitutes the 18% of world population ,the accumulation of plastic waste is too huge. Each year, 13 millions tonnes of plastic ends up in ocean . Last year, a plastic spoon was found in remains of Whale Shark of RAMESHWARAM. Plastic causes pollution and affects health of humans also. The harmful chemicals like PCBs, DDTs, & PAH which gets absorbed in plastic debris and floats in sea water, have varied and harmful effects . It causes many diseases like endocrine disorder and cancer etc. It is destroying the fishing and aquaculture industries . The economic impacts of plastic on marine ecosystem , tourism loss and beach cleaning costs upto $ 13 million per year .
Plastic pollution is a serious threat to the environment . The scientist have warning about the adverse effects for years . But what are the possible ways which could help in beating the plastic ??? Is there no efficient way which can press the plastic? Lastly, What could be our approach to fight plastic pollution? We can do various things i.e.
- Support ban on plastic products
- Recycling of plastic
- Use of alternatives (jute /paper/biodegradable plastic)
- Banning plastic cotton buds and other products
- Ban single use plastic bag
- Encourage industrialist to develop recyclable polymers
- Refundable deposit schemes on plastic bottles
The best example , for efficiently recycling plastic is NORWAY . It recycles 97% of plastic bottles , by recycling the water bottles 50 times . Just 1% plastic bottles end up in environment . Its success is unarguable -197% of all plastic drinks bottles in Norway are recycled . The govt made a clever step to persuade the producers by charging heavy taxes on sale of plastic bottles . It also give consession on the amount of plastic they recycle .
Recently , UTTARAKHAND is the third state after MAHARASTRA & UTTAR PRADESH to enforce a ban on plastic . The govt issued an order banning manufacture ,distribution and sale of polythene carry bags ,and single use plastic cutlery . It is a good step taken by the govt for solving the problem associated by plastic .Though it is a good step, it also leads a conflict between two groups i.e. government and packaging companies, small shopkeepers etc .The protester said that govt policies strikes economy badly.The all India Plastic Manufacturers Association estimated that around 1,00,000 people will incur a loss of ₹5,000 crores annually because of ban. But plastic use has environmental loss that is much higher than the economic loss .
We can’t transform our world into a ‘plastic planet’. What is needed is collective public efforts to stop plastic pollution and safeguard our ecosystem and biodiversity. We should collectively pledge to beat the plastic.