Plastic plays an important role in our life. Plastic is present everywhere in our life from hair clips to containers in kitchen, plastic bottles, polybags, chair, bucket, mug, toothbrush, toothpaste tubes, etc. This plastic is made from harmful chemicals. When we throw plastic away, its harmful chemicals leach into environment. It affects all living beings whether its humans, animals or plants. When it is thrown or dumped in soil, it makes soil infertile. Plants absorb these chemicals from soil and become harmful for animals or humans when they eat its fruits, leaves or roots. It pollutes water as well.
Drinking this type of water leads to typhoid, liver problems and even cancer. It is not possible to destroy plastic waste completely. Plastic can be recycled. All plastic waste cannot be recycled; it can only be reduced if proper methods are adopted. Let us see how we can reduce the plastic waste and reduce the harmful effects of plastic on our environment.
1. Tax for plastic bags/ban of plastic bags
Government should impose tax on the use of plastic bags. They should impose tax on shopkeepers if they give products in plastic bags. People should carry bags made of jute or paper. Use these bags for everything you purchase from grocery to electronic items. There should be a complete ban on use of plastic bags. Plastic bags should be given free to customers. This will make customer to avoid polybags. They will prefer their own recycled or jute bags to carry items.
2. Giving up bottles of water, soda or beverages
Use reusable stainless steel bottles instead of plastic bottles. Whenever you leave home, carry stainless steel filled with water with you. When bottle becomes empty, refill it. This will help you to avoid plastic water bottles and reduce plastic waste. Use soda maker machine at home to avoid soda plastic bottles. Try to make your soft drinks at home using soda maker machine.
3. Carry your own containers
Whenever you go for shopping for grocery items, apparels, electronic items or any other item, always carry your own paper, jute or reusable bag. Do not accept any plastic bag from shopkeeper.
4. Use reusable utensils
Use stainless steel or reusable utensils for food, to drink water or to cook food. Whenever you are travelling, carry your own utensils to avoid disposable utensils. When going to office, carry your lunch in stainless steel tiffin box and carry your utensils to avoid disposable utensils in lunchroom. Use your mug to drink water.
5. Do not store food in plastic containers
You normally buy vegetables or fruits in large quantity and store them in refrigerator in plastic containers. Avoid this and use stainless steel containers to store them. Wrap leafy vegetables in newspaper and store them in refrigerator.
6. Avoid non stick cookware
Do you know non stick cookware is also made of special type of plastic, Teflon, which is toxin? Try to avoid non stick cook wares and cook food in aluminum cook wares. Cook rice in pressure cooker instead of rice cooker which is also made of plastic. Cook food on stove or gas instead of microwave. Buy microwave which accepts containers other than plastic.
7. Do not buy packaged food items
It seems tough as everything in market comes in packets. But we can buy vegetables, fruits, rice, pulses, spices, egg, milk, meat, cheese, etc. in free form rather than packaged form. These are considered to be fresh as well. Try to go nearby vegetable mandi, where you can buy vegetables and fruits in loose form. Carry your own reusable bags to avoid plastic bags given by these shopkeepers.
You can also reduce plastic waste by making your own soya milk, by avoiding plastic bottles for hand washes; try to refill them, compost food waste. Composting food waste is best way to reduce waste. Waste from kitchen can be mixed with soil. It works as a best fertilizer for them as it is free from chemicals and is not harmful to plants. Choose lotions, shampoos and conditioners in plastic free containers. Use baking soda, essential oils, fragrance talcum powder or soaps instead of deodorants.