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Role of Plastics in worsening the climate emergencies

Recently, the word "Climate Emergency " is declared the word of the year by renowned Oxford Dictionary, undoubtedly the credit is attributed to none but the most dangerous animal on this planet i.e. -we human beings who have done much harm to the world in the last century than it was ever done since the origin. Be it anthropogenic disaster, water contamination, the spreadsheet hazardous pollution or the flood.

As much as it might sound contemptuous in this contemporary era, news related to floods in the country is not uncommon. In fact on the contrary constant, it is just increasing by and by insidiously.

To substantiate the above stated premise, we can cite two instances. First ,where Kerala in India was waterlogged again in 2019 after similar incident in 2019. Second, where Mumbai witnessed recurrent floods due to excessive rains.

Proponents often postulate that climate change is prima facie in causing floods, but,

Is that the only reason or are we neglecting something really paramount? Blockage of drain due to dumping of various forms of plastic which blocks the flow of water through proper channels ,is also one of the very rudimentary reasons that causes floods.

Out of all the waste that gets accumulated, the most dangerous is plastic. Urban plastic is a global menace. The ones that do not block the drain end up in oceans killing marine species, 50% of this and 30% of that is extinct. Plastic in Oceans is a major disquiet. Who is to be held responsible for it? At this juncture, it would not be wrong to assert that plastic in ocean is the direct result of our primary actions. This affects not just the ocean and it's species but also human health.

In lieu of the above, a pertinent question is, What should be our role in pacifying, if not eradicating, this global menace?

The first answer that is likely to flash across the screen of our mind is “RECYCLING PLASTIC”. However while Recycling of plastic has gained a lot of prominence lately, we also need to look at the other side of the coin. Recycling of plastic causes more problems because of the harmful chemicals that it uses and also because it is enormously uneconomical. Can we afford to resort to a means which is more harmful than the cause itself? Not!

Another anticipated proposition would be the newly coined and much used term “Single-Use Plastic”. Single use plastic is the one we could use just once before disposing it off. As exciting and much of a solution that it sounds , the statistical data does not suggest and approve of this idea. Globally, as per the reports, only 10% of the single use plastic gets recycled. Rest goes to landfill, is incinerated, in oceans or littered. May be that’s why our renowned Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that Indian would free itself from the clutches of Single Use plastics by 2022. Had it been of utility , why would the country want to get rid of it?

Henceforth, what can come to our rescue is a collective and a well planned decision because it's high time for the citizens to shoulder the responsibility and cater to the emerging need of the nation. The changes that we make in our lifestyle and mannerisms, however small, would have long lasting impacts for the planet. (These are some of the instants where our actions have direct impact. Waste collection is important, more specifically plastic collection as plastic doesn’t degrade and cause lots of casualty and other issues.)

The first step to change is bringing forth a change in ourselves, and then in the workplaces. The organizations can begin with forming a single-use-plastic policy for dealing with and reducing the usage of single-use-plastic. The next step is to ensure availability of alternatives to single use plastic in the everyday use items such as straws, pens, files etc. This is to be done through procurement team by engaging with the existing suppliers. For larger organizations, there can also be competitions held between departments to leave the single-use-plastic.

To learn how to remove plastics from your organization's value chain and contribute to a carbon positive, resource positive, pollution free environment, please reach out to our experts.


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