Let’s face it, plastic is destroying our planet. Approximately 8-10 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans every year. As we all know, the planet is seriously under threat with use of plastic alone (let’s not even get to other abuse of resources, global warming and so on). Plastic is extremely harmful because it is non-biodegradable. If we dump plastic on land, it makes the soil less fertile due to harmful chemicals it possesses. And if we dump it in the sea (like we’ve been doing), it threatens the existence of life and the biodiversity in the sea. So, what can we do to lessen this burden of plastic? We can make small changes in our own consumption that will help in a big way. Following the ban of plastic bags, we heard of a meat vendor who asks his clients to bring their own non-plastic containers to send the meat in. This is to avoid using plastic containers completely. Also, plastic containers and bottles emit harmful chemicals in our food stored. This can cause cancer and low fertility in men and women according to sources. Like the meat vendor, we too can help the planet in the long run. On June 5, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the elimination of single-use plastic in the country by 2022. Here are a few substitutes you can use instead of plastic.
1. Glass Waterbottles
As mentioned above, plastic bottles emit harmful chemicals while water is stored in them that could even cause cancer. Switch to glass bottles instead to help the environment and your body too.
2. Reusable Shopping Bags
More than 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed every year in the world. Let’s take a minute and think about how much that is destroying our planet. Stick to reusable cotton or jute bags instead.
3. Edible/Bamboo Cutlery
Switch to wooden, bamboo or edible cutlery and refrain from plastic cutlery. In fact, when you order food from a restaurant, do not forget to tell them to not add cutlery in your take out. Check out places like Ecoposro in Goa that is Goa’s first zero waste store.
4. Glass/Steel Containers
We cannot say this enough, but plastic containers harm our bodies more than we know. Stick to glass or steel containers that are actually even easier to clean than plastic.
5. Paper Straws
Restaurants and hotels have now made the big switch to paper straws as opposed to plastic ones and you can do it too. You can buy these online or even at a grocery store near you.
6. Biodegradable Garbage Bags
A lot of NGOs are working on alternatives to plastic in our daily life. They make bags that are easily biodegradable.
7. Cotton Sanitary Napkins/ Menstrual Cups
Let’s refrain from using plastic pads that are anyway harmful to the body. Instead, use cotton sanitary napkins or menstrual cups that help save the environment too since menstrual cups last for a longer period of time.
There are so many ways we can substitute plastic in our lives to build a better home for the future generations to come. Let’s save the environment in the best way we can and help not only our country but the entire world be part of the change!
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