Plastic bags might seem the most convenient option when out shopping for things; these bags are easily accessible and come cheap. However, this convenience to us doesn’t translate into convenience to the environment.
Although convenient, almost all plastic materials are harmful and are one of the biggest sources of environmental pollution. For one, they are not biodegradable. They leach harmful chemicals, and clog drains and thereby, contribute to polluting land and water.
Out of all plastic products, plastic bags are most commonly and widely used. Single-use plastic bags are not only hazardous but also capable of contaminating the surroundings. This is why, on July 3 we celebrate ‘International Plastic Bag Free Day’ to spread awareness about the damage plastic bags can do to us and our environment.
This day also gives us an opportunity to ponder and come up with more sustainable alternatives to plastic bags.
What can we do?
It is to be noted that taking all the precautions to save the earth and protect our surroundings should not be restricted to just this particular day. We need to make efforts to live in a plastic-free world, and those efforts need to be made every day. To bring in change and reform, consistency is necessary.
Having said that, the following measures will help us all reach the goal of living in a healthy and safe environment soon.
Say NO to plastic bags:
This one is quite obvious, isn’t it? But it does wonders. Just simply cutting down the usage of plastic bags can be of tremendous help to nature. Alternatives like jute bags, cotton bags, and paper bags, can be used instead of plastic bags. These bags are reusable and prove to be sustainable in the long run. You can practice this by bringing your own bags for shopping, not asking or giving things in a plastic bag.
Actually follow the three R’s:
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. As stated in the previous point, learn to reduce the consumption of plastic bags and switch to environment-friendly alternatives. Next, you might have some plastic bags lying around in your house; reuse it. Do not throw the plastic out after just one use.
Finally, for plastic bags that are recyclable, it is always best to get it done.
Help spread awareness:
Inform and educate people around you on the harmful effects of using plastic bags. Encourage them to use sustainable products that are good for the environment.
Plant more trees:
Finally, one little sapling can help so much. The greener our environment is, the healthier it is! Practice planting saplings and having plants around you. It benefits both you and the environment.
Authored by Aditi Agarwal, Media and Communication student at Manipal Institute of Communication.