February 7, 2020

Why yes to plastic & No to paper?

Danish Hameed

It’s a wrong notion developed in common man that Plastic is hazardous and we should not use Plastic. Plastic had made us convenient with any food item, vegetables, water, medicine, garments, stationary, jewelery, toothpaste, shampoo, washing powder, food grains, vegetable oil, milk, fruits & many more available anytime anywhere. It has made our life easy. It has given employment & livelihood to lakhs of people which is always a concern for any Government. It has replaced paper and thus saved a lot of trees which is very much essential to stop global warming. Plastic waste of course is a concern only when it is not collected and reused. All Plastic is recycled and reused. It is our responsibility to throw this Plastic or any wastage in the dustbin so that it can be sent for recycling. We need to change our habits and not ban Plastic. We can also generate electricity from any plastic waste with hardly 1% residue. Whereas thousand of trees & lakhs of liters of water is used to manufacture paper. This contaminated water is disposed in river or sea and thus polluting environment. Plastic is made out of byproduct left after processing of crude oil which is extracted from sea. So why No to Plastic?? Iron ore used for making metal is depleting our land. Paper is taking away our trees & pushing us towards global warming. So when we say ban Plastic..are we talking so save environment?? Whom should we blame? A civilian who throws thrashes not in Dustin? Or Municipal Corporation who has not developed efficient system to collect waste & pass their inability & failure to Plastic users? Shouldn’t these Politicians stop playing with common man life and taking political mileage? Mobile has made our easy but at the same it is taking away our away our mental peace. It has made distance in relationship. It is also generating e-waste which is not recyclable. Should we Ban use & sale of mobile?? Car, bikes, trucks emits lot of Co2 so should we Ban car and stop manufacturing all vehicles? Air-condition emits lot of hot air so should we Ban Air-condition?? Lot of hazardous chemicals are used for agriculture which causes cancer & death of farmers. Can’t we Ban them and go for organic immediately? I can give you many such example which we should Ban immediately.

Should we Ban Plastic???

Do we want to go to 21th century???

should we not correct our habits rather than banning all products & gadgets??

Can’t we make rational use of all resources so we make our next generation life better?

Now Can you think of replacing Plastic with paper???

Think….

*Possibility of Free Plastic Environment*

Nothing is impossible though let’s be realistic – our society is inundated with plastic everything.

We’ve generated most of the plastic waste merely in the last 20 years ?! Plastic is forever. Every piece of plastic produced still exists somewhere. Whether in a landfill or especially in the waterways. Plastic is choking and slowly killing Mother Earth.

One would have to DRASTICALLY change their every day habits and essentially rewire and UNLEARN what we have been forced to believe about our plastic habits.

My personal thoughts on this are to begin using fewer plastics before becoming plastic free. We need to change our consciousness about our habits as consumers.

Take a look at your home and take an inventory of the plastics that you have. Find the alternative, there is ALWAYS another option.

Tips to use fewer plastics: Refuse single use plastics whenever you can. This process can be arduous. It took my Chinese takeout spot months before they could deliver an order without the plastic utensils let alone the damn plastic bag. Catch the waiter before they bring out your drink with a straw. 500 million single use straws are used a day in the USA – who the heck knows what the global statistics is! Always have reusable bags with you. I have insisted on carrying certain purchases in my hand if I forgot my bag.I rarely consume those drinks in plastic bottles and if I do I buy the biggest container. Mind you, I’ve slipped before, wanting just a taste of that favorite drink. Buy the aluminum cans or glass drinks. I carry a utensil, straw and my own container (when I remember) for food in my bag. Use alternative packaging when shopping for produce ie mesh bags or how about the paper bags from any of the food establishments like Starbucks. I have a couple in my bag just in case. Consider supporting small/ independent businesses, who are more likely to be earth friendly and plastic free. The same goes for corporations who have a good record of less plastic use. Go on a trial run to a grocery store and determine what you can and cannot purchase due to its plastic packaging. Single serve items are also big culprits of plastic waste. Again, find the bigger serving of the food. It isn’t easy!

Got kids? Pack a zero waste lunch. There are now reusable snack and sandwich pouches to store food. Or go the old school route and use paper baggies. Ideally, a stainless steel containers is better to use rather than plastic. Have the child bring their own reusable water bottle. Pack a cloth napkin. A plastic free environment is no easy task but it can be attained over time. Good luck.
( The author is regularly writing for the edit page of “Kashmir Horizon”. Views of the author are his own, danishhameed8519@gmail.com)

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