Beat Plastic Pollution

#BeatPlasticPollution is more than a hashtag

It’s more than just a hashtag for the year; it’s a movement that should stick

It’s more than just a hashtag for the year; it’s a movement that should stick

Kangana Ranaut shared a video of herself donning a plastic bag which reads ‘stop plastic pollution.’ It was a call for arms against these hazardous polymers. “In 30 years, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. I urge everyone to ban single use plastic bags. I’m joining #RallyForRivers and @UNEnvironment in the fight against plastic pollution.” Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt also took part in the hashtag, posing with reusable bottles.

It’s a movement also backed extensively by Narendra Modi, Armaan Mallik, Raashi Khanna, Ellie Goulding and Justin Trudeau — to name a few of the millions.

Local is a must

The movement against plastics has been pledged by India through a tweet in which “India commits to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022.” But things have to start locally, and they have. This past weekend, about 150 volunteers cleaned the Musi of the tons of plastics which line the waterfront. But it was recently revealed by SD Mukherji of Environment Protection Training Research Institute (EPTRI) that only 2% of plastic in the city actually get recycled.

Everyday citizens are also making the best of the movement.
Suruchi Singh shared a photo of a plastic scarecrow made from various pieces of rubbish; the image is captioned, “Have we ever realised what we have… what was given to us. Including our own self we have destroyed everything. If we don’t wake up now it will be too late. Let’s take this step today. Drop single use plastic.” Padmaja Gubbala also shared photos of a street cleanup in Nagole with the statement, “Ban single use plastic! If you can’t reuse it, refuse it!”

Changes are also happening on a corporate level;
GS Green are promoting biodegradable bags at the stall at the state’s Pollution Control Board and have shared this ledge with the hashtag. The company aims to replace conventional yet harmful petrol-based bags with biodegradable ones.

Asia’s rivers are at stake, and a 2017 report for Nature Communications by Laurent CM Lebreton and Joost van der Zwet cites, “the Chinese Yangtze River is the largest contributing catchment, with an annual input of 0.33 million tons of plastic discharged into the East China Sea, followed by the Ganges River catchment, between India and Bangladesh, with a computed input of 0.12 million tons per year.” And this is just two rivers in the whole world.

The world over

On a global scale, populations were shaken by the recent death of a pilot whale, a tragedy which points to the never-ending hazards of single-use plastic.

The whale had washed up on the shores of Thailand after swallowing over 80 plastic bags. According to United Nations Environment, “from 5,010 dives, more than 3,000 pieces of manmade debris — including plastic, metal, rubber and fishing gear — were counted. Over a third of debris found was macro-plastic, 89% of which was single-use products. In areas deeper than 6,000m, over half of debris was plastic, almost all of which was single-use.”

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