World Environment Day: Why it’s Time People Strictly Switch From Plastic

Today felt was 45 degrees where I live, and I took out my phone to check the temperature- if it really was that much. It was actually 37, but the heat was so immense that even my umbrella couldn’t help me from getting a headache from the heat. What a day for it to be “Environment Day”! As soon as I reached home from my office, I ran straight to my refrigerator and picked up a water bottle to cool down my burning senses. The day’s newspaper was lying about, and the main heading read “Plastic Ban Notification…A need of Present Era”. Reading the article, and MANY others in the same newspaper, I realized how much environmentalists want to bring a change to people’s mindsets. So I sat down thinking about it, when I suddenly noticed the bottle that I was holding, was plastic, and how easily all of us overlook all the plastic we use every day.

image source: https://www.sustyparty.com/blogs/news?page=6

Yes, there have been rules in the past that plastic wasn’t allowed anymore, and people started using cloth bags in superstores. Within a month or so though, plastic was back. The fact the people are choosing plastic over cloth and paper is understandable- Plastic is cheaper and handier. How many times is it that you need a bag to put something in urgently, and you see a plastic one but think, “No, this is bad for the environment, let me find a paper one!”? It happens never. So if we want cloth and paper bags to be available as much as plastic bags, what we can do is rid our houses of plastic bags first(keeping in mind NOT to dispose of these bags in the dustbins) and buy a pack of cloth bags to replace them. Kids who love craft can interest yourselves in making paper bags at home with old newspapers- you’ll know how fun it is to use the bags you make!

This, however, does not help rid plastic altogether- not even close! Any domestic item that is sold in supermarkets is wrapped in plastic, and these are mostly non-recyclable plastic. Now unless the packaging company stops using plastic, we cannot do anything about it. So the solution is to boycott plastic to such an extent that wrapping up food and commodities in plastic would actually be a loss for packaging companies. This is a long process but it is achievable if the laws are stringent enough. Awareness is important. According to an article in a reputed newspaper, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has recorded a 5.6 million ton plastic waste disposal every year, just in the state of Maharastra. Imagine the numbers for an entire nation as overpopulated as India! When citizens are educated on the statistics, the loss and highly adverse effects plastic have on the nation, they might be a little more serious about not using it. Methods of proper plastic disposal must be fought for and brought into practice by none other than the citizens themselves.

Climatic change is not taking an uphill either. Over the years, we are moving towards a climate that will suffocate us to death, killing not just humans, but animals as well. Plant life had been at stake for a long time. We must acknowledge the changing environment, and study about climatic change- it is as important as science or social studies. Let us not make World Environment Day just about shouting slogans and writing, posting, sharing articles. Let us not make this just about today. If we all make preserving of nature a practice, we can turn the tables on a dying planet where even the pollution masks we wear are metaphorically made of plastic.

As a very important gesture to curb plastic usage in domestic households and encourage the use of eco-friendly cloth bags, Team Health Engineer has made beautiful cloth bags for a cheap price. These are washable, portable, and can hold up to 4 kilograms of weight- such a stylish and clever start to removing plastic from your homes! Check the poster for information:

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One of their eco-friendly cloth bags

Reading about the ill effects of plastic today, I feel proud of myself for carrying a cloth bag to work every day, but the real pride is when plastic is banned completely for good and we all move towards a time where World Environment Day actually becomes a day where the environment is celebrated, not mourned.

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