End plastic pollution: Easy alternatives to plastic products
By: Rashmi Pawar
What is plastic pollution? Something that the country is in the denial of conceding for its excessive usage. Sometimes I feel devastated by looking at the damage that plastic has imposed on nature. And lately with the surge in plastic pollution amidst COVID-19 due to an increase in the usage of PPE, gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizers.
This miracle material has made modern life possible. But more than 40 percent of it is used just once, and it’s choking our waterways. Plastic has a lifespan of approximately 450 years or more, and never fully degrades but rather shrinks into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastics. Plastic water bottles take 500yrs and plastic toothbrushes take 400yrs to decompose, in fact, all the toothbrushes created since their invention in the 1930s still exist!
All those which end up in landfills are full of hazardous chemicals that go deeper and deeper into the ground every time it rains and one day, we may end up drinking that water.
Plastic can be found everywhere today and all this is the result of mismanaged waste, for every square meter you walk, on average you’ll find 672 pieces of trash. Most of the marine species are probably harmed invisibly and now eat microplastics, the bits smaller than one-fifth of an inch across, all thanks to us.
We can help reduce this by wearing reusable face masks, disposing of single-use face masks properly, and buying hand sanitizer with ecologically sustainable packaging like TreeWear, their sanitizer containers are made of glass. Also, do you know burning plastic releases toxic chemicals which poses threat to human and animal health, and contributes to global warming and air/soil pollution? Ever thought about how we can do our bit to tackle this? You can consider buying plants that will cool down your room temperature naturally, which indirectly will affect your geographical location’s temperature.
The only way to make a big impact to stop environmental vandalism is to start from an “individual” source. You don’t really have to go out there and try to save the environment, just take a little step at home. Inculcate the use of eco-friendly products in your daily lives, and pledge not to buy any plastic products from now on, we can even save marine life just by reducing the usage and see that it doesn’t end up in oceans and seas.
Trust me there’s an alternative for every plastic product we use, and they are way more economical. Some of them are:
- Reusable face mask (You can get them from any local dealer)
- Clay, bamboo or steel water bottle (Amazon)
- Hand sanitizer with ecological packing (TreeWear)
- Bamboo toothbrush (The Prakriti Store, Bigbluemarble)
- Reusable shopping bags (Amazon)
- Eco-friendly cutlery (Amazon)
So, I’ve decided to do something and started contacting the brands I use and requested them to replace their packaging material and to my surprise I got a response saying that they use recyclable plastic for their packaging and I can post the empty bottles or tubes to their address so that they can be recycled and reused.
I’ve requested them to inscribe the same on their products. That wasn’t huge but if we collectively start to do something it will certainly have a huge impact. Every small step that can save even a bit should be considered, you can even inspire others to take small steps too.
This definitely isn’t the world we thought of seeing. All that we are building now is just to watch them fall in future. Remember we humans are only guests here in the realm of mother nature. Save the earth, save ourselves. So, buckle up, play your part and don’t let plastic win over the planet.
Software Engineer turned environment enthusiast. What I stand for is what I stand on. Awaken yourself to the power of your mind to make things happen and the universe will conspire with you to work magic in your life. Someone who looks outside dreams and who looks inside awakens.Know More