Do you cut off the corners of your plastic packets too?

We’ve all heard that plastic is hazardous for the environment and the different measures we should take to reduce it’s usage as well as several innovative ways to recycle it. 

Image credits: Krizjohn Rosales

Although these measures are being taken into action , it’s high time that we finely comb through our everyday lives and notice the ways in which we still unknowingly hazardously dump plastic and the endorse the use of single use plastic.  

I first heard someone talk about this a while ago in an environment summit and it was eye-opening for me. The person was talking about how we unknowingly cut off the corners of our everyday plastic packages to open them up but have we ever wondered what is the fate of those small pieces.

These small cut-off plastic pieces barely make it to the landfill in the first place. Even if they do, they do not get recycled due to their small size and eventually end up in lakes and rivers contributing heftily to water pollution as well as river pollution.  There is a high probability these small bits are consumed by animals and fishes leading to them choking and eventually dying.

Although these small bits are capable of being recycled when disposed of in a proper manner, it is very difficult to do so because plastic packages such as milk packets need to be compressed at a very high temperature in a certain shape, otherwise, they add no value.  These small bits eventually turn into micro-plastics which are less than 5mm in length and end up clogging drains and polluting marine bodies.

When I came to know about this I realized that I had been doing this for so many years simply due to lack of awareness. After that, I make sure I take proper measures to cut my plastic packages.

Every household uses up to 3-4 milk packets and other plastic packets everyday, thus, we can imagine the consolidated number of such small bits generated on a daily basis. We need to understand the consequences of this and do the needful.  

We need to cut the plastic packets in such a way that it does not separate out any small piece, we can cut it in a straight like rather than snipping off the corner. Even if the piece is separated, we should put the piece inside the packet and then dump it just so it reaches the recycling units.  We all collectively need to make this small conscious effort in our everyday lives and make sure we’re not contributing to plastic pollution.

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