While recycling may seem like it solves our problem, the reality is far different. We need a new answer.
In a matter of a little more than a hundred years since it was first invented, plastic has gone from being a boon to the bane of our time. The only way to deal with it now is to stop manufacturing it altogether.
Plastic has single-handedly spelt the doom for our dear planet. There are horrifying images and stories of marine animals choking on it and washing up on our beaches and shorelines in revolting numbers. Also, the extreme usage of fossil fuels in its production makes it the number one leading cause of climate change.
Recycling, or even down-cycling, isn’t exactly the solution to this problem that needs an absolute urgent attention. That’s because recycling too leaves a footprint, and there’s admittedly some amount of pollution that is created in the process.
The recourse is to consciously reduce the use of plastic in your everyday life.
And here’s how you can do it!
Stop Using Nature’s Enemy No 1: Single-use Plastic
For starters, refuse single-use plastics of any kind. That means everything from avoiding that plastic cup for morning coffee and refraining from buying plastic water bottles. It’s fairly easy to swap those with a reusable travel coffee mug, bottle and steel cutlery.
Coming in a close second are the ubiquitous plastic bags
Down with Plastic Bags!
Refuse to take them when out for grocery shopping. Once this plastic is discarded, it lands up in our landfills, turning into mountains of toxic, non-biodegradable waste. One reusable cotton bag is all it really takes to make a huge difference.
Think First and Then Pick up Those Everyday Essentials
Shampoos, face wash tubes, creams, toothbrushes, toothpaste; name one daily use personal care product that does not come in plastic. And every single bit of plastic ever created is lying snuggly somewhere, buried underground, stubbornly refusing to decompose.
But, there is still hope for the future because now there are alternative eco-friendly options available for our plastic toothbrushes and toothpastes that come in plastic packaging.
Going out to eat? Great! Please find Places that have Banned Plastic
Restaurants trends are always evolving. In 2019, we saw many going zero-waste and plastic free.
Infact, the number of restaurants and eateries practicing local foraging, working with ethical suppliers, composting the leftover food waste and handing out reusable food containers increased.
These restaurants follow the ethos of respect – for the planet, for the food it serves and for the customers. Opt for restaurants that cook with whole foods, and locally-produced produce.
It is always easy to find these joints. Go and binge on food, guilt free.
Ladies, Go Plastic-free on Your Period
There’re tons of brands today that sell sanitary napkins made of natural and organic material. This is the time to make that switch from a brand that you’ve probably been using for years, but one that has only ended up as non-biodegradable trash in our landfills. You could also try using silicone menstrual cups because they can be used and reused for nearly 10 years.
Change begins at home. With small, baby steps. Imagine 7.8 billion people in the world becoming just a wee bit conscious. Because, there is no other way now. We have got to stand in solidarity against the plastic.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)