Posting a picture with #SayNoToPlastic may only get you some likes on social media but frankly speaking, it would make a zilch difference to the ground reality.
Yes, climate change is real, global warming is real and plastic pollution is among the biggest threats humanity faces in the modern time. And it’s time we get serious about it.
According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, close to 32 per cent of 78 million tons of annual plastic packaging production is dumped in our oceans. And around 43 per cent of plastic manufactured is used for packaging and most of it is single-use, estimated New Delhi-based Energy and Resource Institute.
Drastic efforts at once are not the key to make a difference, but small collective efforts to reduce plastic waste over a period of time will help save the planet.
And beating plastic pollution is easier than you think.
Here are 10 laid-back and most obvious ways you can inculcate in your life to beat plastic pollution:
Replace plastic bags with cloth or jute bags
This perhaps is the easiest and the best way to eliminate single-use plastic from our lives. Grocery shopping can’t be avoided every week but you can certainly avoid taking plastic bags from stores. Instead, carry your own cloth or jute bags each time you go out for shopping. Most plastic bags end up in the dustbins and enter our oceans threatening marine life.
Eco-friendly plates and bowls
Say a big NO to plastic plates and bowls.
Alright, ordering food from restaurants is easy and saves so much effort, but we all have steel or ceramic plates and bowls at home. Ask your restaurant to not send plastic cutlery with the ordered food.
Single-use plastic is the biggest threat to our oceans and it’s time that its consumption is replaced with eco-friendly and biodegradable alternatives.
Currently, only 9 per cent of plastic is recycled worldwide.
Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. Whenever, you use single-use plastic, always be sure of recycling it. Send your waste to downcycling and recycling units and ensure that your plastic waste does not enter bio-waste.
Participate in (or organise) a beach or river cleanup
Cleanups are a great way of showing that you care about the planet.
Help removing plastics from the ocean by participating in, or organizing a cleanup of your local beach or waterway. This is one of the most direct, rewarding and easiest ways to fight ocean plastic pollution.
Simply go to a beach or a local water body and collect plastic waste on your own or with your friends.
Eliminate plastic bottles
Change begins at home.
Replace plastic bottles with glass or steel bottles. Carry your own water bottle while going out. It will reduce your consumption of single-use plastic and save your money too.
Say no to straws
Plastic straws are among the biggest polluters in the ocean.
Don’t ask for plastic straws instead take your drink straight from the glass. Insist that restaurants keep steel and paper straws. Non-recyclable plastic stirring sticks and cocktail picks escape a consumer’s eye easily. Be conscious of what you are using.
Spread the word
Stay informed and alert on issues related to plastic pollution and make others aware of the problem. Talk to your friends and family about how they can contribute towards controlling plastic waste.
These ideas are the simplest of ways to help address the mammoth problem of plastic pollution. What’s important is that we all do something, no matter how small.