“Plastics are made from natural materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and crude oil through a polymerization or polycondensation process” – says Google.
From school what most of us non-caring beings remember is, ‘it’s hard to degrade’. Now I’m wondering how many of us actually took a minute to give its non-degradable nature a thought? If you haven’t here it is. Most of the plastic we use today is made up of polyethene terephthalate (PET), which is nearly impossible to degrade, as most bacteria can’t break it down.
Microplastics are any type of plastic fragments less than 5mm in size. We do in fact ingest microplastics that was revealed in research from Europe, Russia and Japan. It’s pitiful to believe we aren’t just using It but eating it on a daily without having a clue about it.
It’s been years the environmentalists and government together have been pressing on reducing the plastic usage. But how really being the smart, responsible and educated citizens that we are of today’s generation innovatively get into the habit of using less plastic and influence others from doing so?
Here are some of the ways we can incorporate and replace some of the products in our daily life to contribute in making and transforming this country to plastic free someday positively.
1) METAL STRAWS
Among countless problems arising due to It, a very talked-about issue about how every year more than 1000 turtles are dying because of plastic straws floating in the ocean. Studies show ingesting it can be lethal for the turtles and can affect numerous of them in the long run. Metal straws made up of steel are reusable and safe and is considered as an excellent substitute for the plastic straws. More and more people are educating themselves about the dangerous ill effects of using plastic straws and switching to metal straws. Refuse taking plastic straws at the restaurants, and even during takeouts. It ultimately depends upon the needs of the consumers that decide the product produce. More the people refrain themselves from using the plastic straws, the less it will be produced.
2) REUSABLE BAG
One single plastic bag takes upto 1000 years to degrade and is the main source of pollution more frequently instead of handing over a plastic bag every time.
3) AVOID PACKAGING
In the age of industrialization, we humans have crafted everything to fit into the level of convenience we have become habitual of today. You get peeled fruits and vegetables wrapped and packed around in many layers of plastic. Taking out the natural protective barrier meant for the purpose, that sounds off right. Best buy as many things you can in bulk like grains, cereals, rice etc.
4) REUSABLE CONTAINERS
Prefer buying metal or glass containers over the plastic ones, they can be used over and over again for multiple purposes. They are great for buying in bulk and reusing. Better quality and designed to keep your food and beverages hot. On a whole better in every aspect when compared to plastic. We can even take our own containers for the takeout at restaurants to reduce the plastic used in diners for deliveries and takeout.
One thing Indian moms discovered and is still utilizing to its fullest is the plastic containers that they keep reusing for years. It is a pretty smart way to utilize plastic other than throwing them out in the open.
6) GO HOMEMADE
Try getting into a habit of making fresh juice and eating them fresh instead of buying the bottled juices. They aren’t as healthy as advertised. They contain artificial flavors and tons of preservatives. It’s interesting to see how the human brain is attracted to how a certain thing is presented that is enticing enough for us to prefer over the original thing. Squeeze the fresh fruit or eat them as a whole. 80% of plastic bottles end up in the landfills and almost takes a thousand years for every single bottle to decompose.
7) AVOID BUYING FROZEN FOODS
Heavily processed foods often include unhealthy levels of added sugar, sodium and fat. Frozen food is one type of that. The packaging is all plastic and it’s low on nutrition. Avoid buying frozen food and go for fresh vegetables and fruits, that will ultimately contribute to using less plastic and you’ll be eating healthy.
8) GO FOR CLOTH DIAPERS
Disposable diapers produce a huge amount of landfill waste compared to the reusable ones. They are bad for the environment. About 27.4 billion diapers are used every year which counts for US alone. About more than 7 billion diapers are discarded every year from the US alone. Cloth diapers are the cheaper and better alternatives to the disposable diapers. If more people opt for the cloth made products, it will make a big difference in the plastic waste produced every year. The lesser the plastic the better it is)
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