The Arabian Sea threw-up tons and tons of plastic waste in Mumbai recently. There were Plastic waves in the Sea in the Dominican Republic recently after a storm.
Our cities are groaning under the strain of plastic waste, mainly single-use plastic which includes disposable plastic bags, disposable cutlery and crockery and disposable food containers. But a lot of this waste is also broken plastic material from cheap consumer products. Plastic which is an amazing and durable material has suddenly got a very bad reputation indeed!
Plastic Bag: 1000 years
Plastic bottle: 450
Plastic Straws: 200 years
Plastic Spoons: 450 years
As someone who tries to practice zero-waste living and refuses to use most of the disposable plastic material mentioned above, I find it very distressing that most people dont take even the basic steps to curb their plastic usage. These simple steps are easy to follow and make for great support against our fight of single-use plastic and support to the environment!
- CARRY A REUSABLE BAG
This sounds like a very simple thing to do, but I can say that most of us just don’t do it. Carrying a reusable cloth bag, which fold up and can be carried in your daily purse or bag, or kept in your car or bike is one of the first things to do in this journey of reducing your waste. Try to avoid a bag made of synthetic materials (these ultimately will not biodegrade) and go for natural material like cotton, canvas or hemp.
You will be able to reduce your one-time use plastic bag usage by at least 2 to 3 bags a day. You will also get used to asking for your shopping in your own bag and become more aware of the prevalence of plastic bags even when there is no need for it.
- REDUCE USAGE OF PLASTIC BOTTLES
Carrying a reusable water bottle with you when you are out of the house can help to curb another big plastic pollutant, The Plastic Bottle. The times when you do have to buy that bottle of mineral water, make sure it goes into the recycling system and not into the landfills. Also, does it make sense to have to throw away 3 bottles a day that will not decompose for 450 years. Reducing 1 disposable bottle a day can result in 30000 less bottles per person that end up in our oceans!
Remember, that consuming beverages in tins and glass id slightly better as these materials are handily recycled in India.
- AVOID DISPOSABLE CUTLERY
Disposable cutlery, crockery and food containers account for a huge percentage of plastic waste, most of which is floating in our oceans. Avoid consuming disposable plates, spoons and straws. Ask for an alternative or carry your own! Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface. Try to move away from the throw-away culture, keeping in mind that what you throw away still stays on the planet if not in your home…
Reduce Reuse Recycle
3 STEPS TO A PLASTIC-FREE YOU (DOWNLOAD PDF)