The Curious Case of Plastic
There was a king named Midas. Midas was a man who wished that everything he touched would turn into gold.
One morning, his wish came true, eagerly he got up & touched a table that immediately turned into gold. Midas jumped with happiness and started touching everything in the house & everything started turning into gold.
Happy & exhausted he sat at the table for breakfast. He touched a grape to eat it but it turned into gold, a similar thing happened to slice of bread & glass of water. With fear & despair, he hugged his daughter & she turned into gold.
Humanity got a similar wish granted when plastic was made.
The modern plastic came into existence from World War 2, in the 19th century, when the military realized its versatility and usage in wars. But once the war ended, the plastic company started looking for ways to sell their product.
When the plastic company figured out various options plastic went from protecting cargos to protecting our food. Nylon from skies changed to stockings and then airtight plastic containers were introduced. The versatile usage of one material brought a revolution.
The bigger revolution happened when the throwaway culture of plastic came into the picture. Plastic is made from polymers- long repeating chains of the molecule groups. Since synthetic polymers are so durable, plastic takes between 500 & 1000 years to break down. But somehow we started using this super-tough material for things meant to be thrown away, such as plastic drinking bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic grocery bags, straws and so many more.
Plastic causes a plethora of problems and it does not only start when it enters the environment as waste. Rather, plastic pollutes at every step of its life. From extraction, production, consumption to disposal.
No one of us knows how much unrecycled plastic waste ends up in the ocean, Earth’s last sink.
Plastic is found in all shapes and sizes but those that are less than five millimeters in length are called “microplastics.” Microplastics come from a variety of sources, including from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces. These tiny particles easily pass through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean and Great Lakes, posing a potential threat to aquatic life. Aquatic life and birds can mistake microplastics for food.
To end this plethora of problem with plastic, various countries in the world have taken some serious steps to deal with this. Canada aims to ban single-use plastic by 2021, Peru restricts single-use plastic. San Diego bans Styrofoam food & drink containers.
The Indian government has started raising awareness about single-use plastic & pushing for recycling. To take the initiative and solve the problem of plastic we should Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and Refuse.
As a blogger, I have made a research of a few which you can switch to, to stop using plastic are:
- Switch from plastic water bottles to stainless steel or glass bottles.
- Avoid using straws or carry metal or glass straws with you.
- Carry your own cloth bag & avoid the use of plastic bags.
- Buy bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones.
- Buy biodegradable sanitary napkins which are plastic-free.
These are ways to reduce the use of plastic. Do you know more? Tell us below in the comment section.