At school, I learnt that the theme for World Environment Day 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution”, and it is a call for citizens to come together and combat one of the great environmental challenges: reducing plastic usage. At school I also learnt the 3R’s that are essential for any effort to help save the environment – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
While plastic has many uses, we have all become so dependent on plastic for every small thing. But what we don’t realise is that it ends up clogging the drains and polluting environment.
Plastic is really a difficult thing to destroy – after we throw it into landfills or in the garbage. Do you know that in the time it takes Hardik Pandya to bowl an over in a cricket match, four garbage trucks worth of plastic get dumped into the ocean!? The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the earth four times in a single year, and it can remain in the environment for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates.
Here are some more Plastic Pollution facts that will alarm you:
- Every year the world uses up to 5 trillion plastic bags
- Each year, at least 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.
- In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole last century.
- 50 per cent of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable
- We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute
- Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate
I promise to minimise the use of plastic and recycle and reuse it as much as possible. I have thought of 10 ideas to reduce plastic pollution and I thought I would share them:
- Carry my own bags when I go shopping. I have already kept two canvas and cloth bags each in my bicycle basket and in my mom’s car.
- I will also stop buying drinking water when I go out to the zoo or to any other place. I will carry my own water bottle.
- We have just bought some glass bottles for drinking water at home. I will use those. My mom has already started drinking water from a matka.
- I plan to wash and reuse the plastic cutlery.
- I will not cover my books with plastic sheets – but will try and take care of them so they don’t get dirty.
- I will say no to plastic wrapping paper to wrap presents for my friends’ birthdays. I will either use the paper ones or make my own by block-printing old newspapers. My mom will give me two rupees for every sheet that I make on my own. So I am very excited!
- I am going to completely stop the use of plastic straws. Whether for home use or when you’re ordering a drink at a bar or restaurant, plastic straws are often a single-use item that’s just not necessary.
- I will start using a steel tiffin box that my mom and I just bought for my school.
- Instead of a plastic folder to keep my worksheets and paper from school, I am making my own folder with old cardboard. I am looking forward to decorating it.
- This was my mom’s idea – instead of buying ice cream in a cup – which we have to eat with a plastic spoon, I will now buy a cone.
- My neighbourhood friends are starting a plastic recycling club where we will pick up the plastic trash on roads and send it off to a plastic recycling plant.
Do you have more ideas? I would love to take your ideas too. Please leave some comments with your ideas…