Some Unexpected Solutions To The Plastic Crisis
Author: Sruti Soumya Mishra
“Plastic is a stick that can’t support humans!” Got the literal anecdote?
Plastic is such a term that people come across every day. The invention of plastic has both been a boon and a bane for human lives. However, the cons of using plastic are way more than the pros. The most common reason for using plastic was sure to have a reduction in natural resource exhaustion. Nevertheless, the idea of plastic became cheap and quite affordable too. This surge of plastic usage has become a crisis today. Not only the plastic surge but its unknowing effects and increase in usage has made the world come up with a new term called “Plastic Pollution”. Let’s see howthe plastic crisis has become a concern and what can be done to handle the situation at present.
An Alarmed Concern
The plastic crisis does not only relate toenvironmental safety issues but it has high concerns for human health too. Plastic has been regarded as highly poisonous for humans as well as other living beings. We all know that plastic is a non-biodegradable material. Because of it, plastics thrown somewhere are not degraded easily. Hence, the thrown plastics can be choked by animals. One of the biggest concerns today are plastics thrown into ocean water which makes marine life at stake. Plastic whether dumped or burnt releases toxins. Hence, it has been around two decades that the world has been alarmingly raising a concern to stop plastic usage.
Plastic also greatly disturbs the food chain. The toxins released have a long-term effect on humans. For example, asthma or any lung-related disease. The chemicals also pollute the air. Even the land is known to lose its fertility as plastics make them too incompetent for agriculture. Plastic dumping can have serious issues with the groundwater consumed by people. It makes the water table unfit for drinking as well.
The main question that would drop down in people's mindsis what would be the solution to this crisis? Well, there was a time when we were taught to follow the 3R – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This was quite effective for some time but after then it does not seem to be working anymore. The next initiative was taken by a man in Bangalore to reduce plastic usage was to build the roads out of plastic. Sounds crazy right? But the formula actually worked. The civil engineers in Bangalore have been using the same formula over the years and hence we can see how plastic usage and disposal have been maintained. The roads made by the mixture of plastics are also very long-lasting that are even rain resistant. So why not implement this idea all over India?
Similarly, there have been many initiatives or new inventions that can help plastic to be dumped in some way or other. For example, the idea of making a bioplastic bag or using Bioplastic materials for the replacement of the actual plastics is another big step. Although this, for now, is not being used on a large scale there is great hope. These bioplastics are highly biodegradable as the material used to make these is called biomass. So this has highly contributed as a great solution to plastic. Another solution or idea that has come forward is to use seaweed instead of plastic. However, this idea has not been fully commercialized yet.
Above we discussed just the disposal or the idea to remove the plastic from lives. But what if we say there’s more to it? Yes, there are more things that are to be added to reduce plastic usage. In a long run, it’s just not the dumping techniques that would help but the alternatives that would completely replace plastic from lives.
You must have had heard of the usage of paper bags right? Yes, initially paper bags became a famous replacement for plastic. But this too does not seem to be much sustainable as paper production does require trees to be cut. What are the other solutions then? Cloth bags are also an excellent solution to the plastic crisis. Well, it has not been long since we have used jute bags an inexplicably amazing alternative for plastic. However, paper and jute cannot just be the alternative for every plastic product existing. For example, you can’t use a paper chair or jute chair, right? Here’s the point. The best alternatives for plastic can be the products made from “Bamboo”. Bamboo is quite a sustainable product thathas been proved to be a great replacement for plastic. Bamboo has its own advantages and is completely eco-friendly. The bamboo industry just needs support to continue being the best. A lot of people show interest in using bamboo products today.
How Can We Help?
The most important thing that can be done is to stop using plastic. If you have bags made of cloth at home, then kindly use them whenever you go grocery shopping. Plastic-made products should be highly made unwanted so that the industries stop making these. Plastic plates or cups must be avoided at all costs. Kulhads can be the best option to have your cup of tea in the most unique style. All we can do is to minimize the plastic products that we have in our homes.
The plastic crisis needs urgent attention from the folks. Several laws and regulations would not be favorableor would not prove to be of any worth unless and until the people are self-aware of how deadly plastic can prove to mankind. No doubt there has been a widespread awareness spread in books, taught in school, magazines, radio, etc. Still, it seems like a long way just to minimize the current plastic usage. At the very basic level, one can just use the plastic alternatives mentioned above to avoid plastic circulation. If people would not demand plastic, then ultimately the plastic industry would come to halt. It is high time that we must let ourselves be a little wise and let go of this deadly wasteful product called – “Plastic”.