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How to find creative alternatives for eliminating single-use plastics



By Kangan Goel

Plastics have become essential for our lives. We use them in various day-to-day activities. From the very start of our day, we use a plastic toothbrush and by night, we draw creams or cosmetics from a plastic tube. We are surrounded by plastics. Often, we fail to realise that. These cheap, durable and readily available materials are awfully hazardous for our environment. They not only contaminate our planet but at the same time disrupt its ecological balance.

India is a land of traditions, culture, art, craft, innovations and creativity. If we combine it all together, there can be ample opportunity to give birth to revolutionary ideas and create a massive impact on the world. It will also allow us to think in a new direction and reach new heights. But, the foremost step towards achieving the goal of eliminating single-use plastic items is to educate people about its dangerous effects.

Followed by this, we can find eco-friendly and economical alternatives to plastic items. One example is the deep-rooted tradition in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent to use banana leaves as dishes and bowls. These are compostable alternatives to petrochemical based plastics and polystyrene dishes, bowls. Paper pulp cutleries and utensils made with mud clay are a great alternative as well. They are also safer for food consumption.

For the existing plastic wastes on the planet, we need to find solutions and dispose them off in a safe manner. These days, constructing roads, bridges and dam walls with the help of latest techniques such as eco-bricks is prevalent. Silicone too can be a decent alternative to plastics. It can be moulded into a variety of shapes – like some plastic. Being highly durable, these are capable of withstanding both high and low temperatures.

Replacing plastic planters with the jute bags, bamboo and paper straws in place of plastic straws are some great ways to start our eco-friendly journey. We also can reduce the use of sanitary pads that are non-biodegradable in nature and eventually, replace them with eco-friendly menstrual cups.

Some other positive steps for the benefit of the environment would include: carrying cloth bags while going grocery shopping, disposing recyclable waste separately and being mindful of these minute changes in our daily lives. Gradually, it all will make a huge difference.

Plastic may look like an attractive option right now but it surely is noxious for the long run. Therefore, to attain sustainable development, we should think of alternatives and avoid single-use plastics.