• Atul Prasad

Suffocate Not

The Drive to save

We, as the citizens of this planet, have gotten ourselves habituated to using plastic, in any form, in our daily lives and in the process have forgotten what life used to be like before the birth of this synthetic form of organic polymers. This is a material which, according to International Environmental Law, emits close to 850 million tons of carbon monoxide into our atmosphere. Plastic is used in a plethora of forms like, bags, bottles, household items, boxes and is also used as a casing material for electronic appliances. A considerable percentage of plastics is also manufactured for one time use, which finds its way onto our streets sides to our drainage systems and finally into our oceans. Not only does the manufacturing of this material contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer but also endangers the wildlife who end up ingesting it thinking it might be food.

The amount of greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere, ends up trapping the heat of the sun leading to a constant rise in temperature which would eventually make our planet uninhabitable. The word Plastic is derived from the greek word Plastikos which means “ capable of being shaped or moulded. This is a material that consists of a wide range of synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds that are malleable and hence can be moulded into any solid objects. Plastic, as mentioned earlier is used in a multitude of products of different scale, from paper clips to even a spacecraft, because of the low cost and ease of manufacturing. The world’s first fully synthetic plastic made its appearance as Bakelite in the year 1907 in New York. Blinded by the success and dominance of plastics in the early 20th century, we failed to address our environmental concerns due to the slow decomposition rate after being discarded. This has resulted in the depletion of the aquatic life in our oceans, wildlife and the overall rise in temperature causing the ice in the polar caps to melt.

There are parts of the world where a majority of the plastic waste ends up like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Deonar in Mumbai, the landfills across Latin America and other countries. Some of these landfills reach up to the height of around 114ft and spread over 132 Hectares and receive upto 5500 metric tonnes of plastic waste everyday.

Campaigns and protests have broken out across the globe in support of the anti plastic drive, for a better tomorrow. Nations have come together to support this cause and some have even taken the initiative of completely stopping the usage of any plastic products and have moved towards the usage of more biodegradable products like Jute, Cane etc. No matter how big a drive this might be, it all starts with us, individually, taking a step towards the non usage of any plastic products. Life did go on smoothly before this material entered our lives. The first step towards a greener tomorrow is when we, individually and collectively say No to plastic. There are a plethora of materials that can replace plastic like Bamboo, Jute, Cane, Cloth etc. A few majors of the clothing industry too have taken an initiative towards this cause by recycling the non biodegradable plastic into their products like, waterproof jackets and jeans, waterproof / drench-proof shirts and t-shirts.

So act now instead of waiting for others to start. This is the time it starts with you.

This is the time you need to put your foot down. This is the time you need to say No. This is the time you need to make this change. This is the time to Say No to Plastics.