Hi guys! Hope your Global Goals Week is going rocking. Are you ready to explore some sustainable solutions to single-use plastic with me today? Let’s Get Going!
We’ve come far with the celebration of global goals week and with our commitment towards nature and its well-being. Sometimes pessimism takes over us and we often overlook the positivity that we can bring to our lives.
Did you read the article posted the day before yesterday, where PET took over my blog and vented out? Yep! That single-use plastic bottle. It talked about all of its issues and vented out in the most meaningful and truthful manner. After reading everything PET wrote, I have been racking my brain ever since, finding sustainable alternatives and solutions to help PET, humans, animals, and the environment.
As PET mentioned, we must learn to reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle. Yes, the environment is screwed on many levels now but the only ray of hope is that we have 10 years to achieve all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and SDG 13- Climate Action is one of them.
Let us now read about the sustainable solutions that we must incorporate.
Waste Management and Segregation
Before coming to new sustainable solutions, we first need to focus on managing the mess we have already created and that means; All the materials have different quality and times of degrading which requires it to be segregated in a proper way. If we fail to do that, it takes the shape of a waste that will continue to harm the environment and emit harmful gases for months and years.
Waste when not treated and managed in the right way can lead to greenhouse gas and various hazardous gases polluting the environment. Considering the rise in the population, waste management must be our priority as otherwise, it can lead to a huge amount of untreated waste causing changes in the climatic patterns across the globe.
As per the Solid Waste Management Rules by the Government Of India in 2016, it’s directed to segregate the waste at the source into three categories Biodegradables, Dry and Domestic Hazardous waste before handing it over to the collector. Despite the existence of these rules, the number of people following the protocol is extremely low.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reported that 60 major cities in the country generate around 25,940 tons of plastics per day, of this around 60% is recycled mainly by the informal sector while the rest (approximately 9,400 tons) ends up in the environment.
See, how a tiny thing like improper waste management could lead to a big problem like climate change? Let’s take tiny steps to segregate wrappers, vegetable peels, and other waste items. This is your chance to help the environment responsibly and I think you must take it! Effective segregation ensures that solid waste is recycled and food waste is converted into manure.
The point of sustainable living is to adopt such practices which are not only good for nature but for you too & for future generations as well. Everything we do has an impact on nature. The best is to keep a check on our actions in order to minimize the dangerous impact on nature.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle
After learning the basics of- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle as kids, we must also incorporate the habit of ‘upcycling’ or in a way, leveling up! Learn to reuse or modify a product in such a way that it proves to be even more helpful and newer than before.
The Logical Indian reports “India’s leading plastic industry body, Plast India Foundation, has estimated annual consumption of 16.5 million tonnes of plastics in 2017-18. A staggering 43%, or 7 million tons, of this, is single-use and packaging plastics that have no recycling value.”
Considering the statistics and India’s capacity to generate plastic at such a faster rate, we must practice the habit of reducing. Cutting down our usage is a tiny step that will also help in stopping climate change.
Every ton of plastic waste recycled results in a saving of approximately 3.8 barrels of petroleum claims TERI. However, single-Use plastic is extremely hard to even recycle and is often neglected by the recycling facility, hence, a whopping percentage of single-use plastic is left to choke the drains, rivers, and flow to oceans eventually.
Knowing about these repercussions of using single-use plastic, the goal should be reuse as much as possible. Generating less waste will, in turn, will slow down the speed of the rising global temperature.
Recycle and Upcycle are the simple steps you can take to advocate SDG13- it’s a responsibility that you can undertake to make sure the waste reaches its recycling facility by calling local NGOs or a local recycling facility yourself. Apart from this, you can get creative or connect with companies, self-help groups that upcycle old products, and create newer products.
Let’s not forget our lesson of 3Rs and U. Practicing this will ensure that nature stays in its best shape and doesn’t have to compromise with its well-being because of poor human decisions.
We have so many affordable sustainable solutions today that are easily available in the markets around us. Find out some easily available alternatives below and look at how helpful they are!
Here are Sustainable Solutions To Single-Use Plastic And Where To Get Them:
- Reusable water bottle/ flask
- Glass microwave dishes
- Menstrual cups/ cotton sanitary pads
- Bamboo/ steel straws
- LED Lights
- Compostable cutlery and bowls
- Soap/ Shampoo Bars
- Rechargeable Batteries
- cloth/ jute grocery bags
- DIY Cleaners
- Bamboo Toothbrush
- Sustainable home products- towels, rugs, mats
- Reusable kitchen towels
- Steel lunch boxes
- Beeswax kitchen wraps
- Bamboo earbuds/ cotton swabs
- Coffee mug/ flask
- Reusable makeup remover pads
- Natural deodorant
- Sustainable stationery
- Coir kitchen (utensils) and body scrub pads
- Stainless steel razors
- Vegan condoms
While it’s human nature to find faults and indulge in the blame game, we must never forget that it’s the solution that matters and not the harm that has been done. The goal of our life should be how to unlearn the habit of littering around and learn to segregate waste.
And to quote PET, “Gentle Reminder: This escalating issue won’t be solved until you accept that you’re at fault and stop using single-use plastic and other unsustainable practices.”
This is Aakash Ranison. Signing Off.
Sustainable is sensible. Stay eco-friendly.