Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide.
That's over one million plastic bags used per minute.
It is not happening elsewhere, it is happening in your home. Although we know that the use of plastic is detrimental to our environment, we are unmindful of the plastic bag that we carry back home from our shopping. why? People give importance to issues that have an immediate impact on their lifestyle. Unfortunately the use of plastic does not fall in that category. The tangible impact of plastic use in our everyday life will not be witnessed by you, but by your children. Don't you want to leave a greener environment for your children?
Plastic pollution affects humans. Period. If you thought, plastic is only choking the marine world and destructing the fauna then, you are completely mistaken. Chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic are toxic. While on one hand we struggle to practice sustainable waste management measures, on the other even a successful composting has the danger of injecting the toxic materials into our food chain. We shouldn't forget the ecology lessons thought in school, what affects a fish will eventually affect humans.
We need to act. And, act now. Reduce the use of plastics and it has to begin in our homes.
Somethings I do and I suggest you consider doing:
1) Carry a reusable cloth bag for your grocery shopping
2) Buy products that are packaged in boxes/glass bottles rather than plastic containers/bottles
3) Avoid frozen foods. Two-way benefit, you not only avoid the use of plastic as most frozen foods are packed in them, you will also get to eat nutritious fresh produce.
4) I avoid straws as much as possible.
5) I do have a few bio-degradable plastic bags at home for the need of the hour situations. I reuse them.
6) Avoid drinking aerated drinks/juices that come in plastic bottles. Two-way benefit, Health and environment
I believe once as an individual we become aware of the consequences of our plastic usage, the measures to curtail our usage will follow suit.
I am sure there are several other ways to reduce the usage of plastic in our homes. Please do share your ideas and spread the awareness to create a plastic-free world!
PS: I was inspired by the work of Chennai Trekking Club in creating awareness and initiating the Chennai Coastal Cleanup drive. Sitting far away from Chennai, I decided to do my part by writing and spreading awareness.
If you are in Chennai and want to be a part of the cleanup drive. Click here.