Single use plastic ban and why you must follow

single use plastic ban

The dependence on plastic in recent years has worsened the existence of every living being on Planet Earth. The more we rely on plastic, the more damage we will be causing to our future. There is a radical need to put an end to the use of plastic in our daily lives. Modern life was provided multiple benefits by plastic, without realizing that it may take thousands of years for the plastic products to degrade. Now that we are aware of the damaging properties of plastic, it is time to look away from this menace.

To most people, plastic might seem as something that is of least concern. But if 7.9 billion people develop this same mindset and remain oblivious to the dangers of using plastic, it will have a disastrous affect on our future. From manufacturing of plastic to using and to decomposing, all of this has hazardous effect on the planet. Using plastics also results in the production of greenhouse gases, making it a contributor to global warming and climate change.

Single-use Plastic

Single-use plastic (SUP) is not something many of us would have thought about, while thinking about ways to eliminate plastic out of our lives. But when you look around, items such as plastic ear buds, balloons, straws, coffee cups, plastic wrappers, etc. are all objects that are used once and are then discarded. Single-use plastic is manufactured only to be disposed after one use, which sounds wasteful from the very beginning. In simple words it can be said that plastics are used just because they are convenient rather than being durable.

Plastic is a man-made invention which was first discovered at the start of the twentieth century. It was thought to be the biggest boon to mankind since it was so convenient to use. It decreased the workload and could be easily disposed without a single thought of the outcome. As non-biodegradable plastic kept on being used and piling up in the twentieth century, it has become a big problem now in the twenty first century. These tiny bits of plastic may seem harmless to you, but they are potently harmful and even hazardous for the wildlife. Banning the use of plastic is a must, as not only is it affecting us humans but it is also disrupting the food chain by harming the animals, clogging the oceans and overfilling the landfills.

Today, we fully understand the ill effects of using single-use plastic. We now realize fully well that plastic has become a nuisance for the present generation and for the future. The increased amount of dependence on plastic is unhealthy for humanity. Our lives now revolve almost exclusively around plastic. Everything has plastic, including product packaging, cosmetics, food containers, clothing, mobiles, and even chewing gum. Due to its pervasiveness, many people would find it challenging to give it up altogether. Therefore, reducing the use of plastics necessitates both a change in habit and a shift in perspective.

Ban on Single-use Plastic

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has decided to form a restriction or ban on the single-use plastic from 1 July 2022. All producers, retailers, members of the public and store owners must stop keeping or selling any stock of single-use plastic henceforth. Initially it may seem hard to change our plastic habit, and the ban may seem a major and drastic step, but just like we made it a habit to use everything made up of plastic, we should made it a habit by carrying out the duties of a responsible citizen by preventing and decreasing its use.

According to the Department of Environment, Government of the NCT of Delhi, the inclusion of single-use plastic in municipal solid waste generates anaerobic conditions, hinders the process of composting, and prevents natural decay, and also produces a foul stench. These are enough reasons to bring about action against the use of plastic items, especially in a city which has mountains of waste. There are and have been many alternatives of plastic that are environmentally friendly such as steel, wood, bamboo, glass, etc. These alternatives were earlier used but have been replaced by plastic. We should now go back to using these materials and make it a habit to inculcate eco-friendly products or reusable material in our daily lives.

Alternatives to Single-use Plastic

Instead of using plastic bags, we should replace these with cloth bags, paper bags and jute bags, that are more friendly to the environment. Plastic ear buds should be replaced with wooden earbuds, instead of using disposable plates and glasses we should use reusable vessels, we should stop buying single-use water bottles and use reusable water bottles instead. There are many organisations that are taking initiative in making environmentally friendly containers, toothbrushes, cosmetics, and other daily use commodities. We should promote such organisations and help them become a success, thereby, indirectly helping the Planet.

Looking back in time, our Indian culture has always been seen to be using products that were biodegradable. From footwear made of wood, straw and bamboo to tooth brush made of neem twigs, it was all eco-friendly. Though these daily use items may seem outdated and ancient, we can improvise them and find other ways to keep the use of plastic to a minimum. The Government has announce the ban and urged citizens to choose eco-friendly alternatives. As responsible citizens, we must do our part and help by buying and using products that are not harmful to our environment.

Delhi Greens has been running a sustained campaign against single-use plastic since 2019. You can help by learning and remembering some from among 100 ways to beat plastic pollution. You can also share your ideas on how we can beat plastic pollution by clicking here.

Ashirita V Dewan

Ashirita V Dewan is an undergraduate student of Environmental Studies at Jindal School of Environment and Sustainability, O.P. Jindal Global University.

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