In our last blog, we spoke about the war on plastics. The pollution caused by plastics and microbeads is dangerous and can wreak unprecedented havoc on the planet. Plastic is a substance the Earth cannot digest.
While the condition is grim, unique and simple stories and solutions for change from around the world are providing a much-needed silver lining. We bring you some of these here today.
India, of course, is leading the way, has banned the use of plastic bags less than 50 microns first in Delhi and then in the majority of the states. This is a great step to eliminate the most common shopping accessory that clogs sewers, pollutes the environment and even kills cattle.
Other developing countries like Rwanda, Bangladesh and developed European nations have also made great strides in curbing the plastic evil.
The story of this town in Japan is truly inspirational. They produce no waste at all! Watch this video to learn more:
Closer to home, Tamil Nadu, after learning from Jamshedpur and Himachal Pradesh, has converted 1600 tons of plastic waste into 1000 km of road. How incredible is this!?
Here are 10 things we can do as aware and active citizens to win the war against plastics:
- Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
- Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
- Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
- Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
- Go digital! No need for plastic CDs, DVDs and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
- Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
- If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
- Volunteer at a beach cleanup.
- Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
- Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to rise above plastics!
Desh Apnayen encourages one and all to experience a beautiful, plastic-free Diwali. Remember – big changes begin with small steps!
Have a happy festive season!