Plastic pollution is a life threatening issue on earth. It pollutes land, water resources making it difficult to eradicate sooner.
Both plastic and polythene are made from some combination of hydrocarbon chemicals.
So they have similar properties like delayed decay, light weight, durable etc.
Unlike other waste, it has longer decay period like 40 years or more.
Hence there is large quantity of polythene accumulated inside the sea and river beds.
Once consumed by animals, the polythene is not digested in the gut.
So even large animals like whales die due to plastic consumption.
Plastic also pollutes the valuable soil available for agriculture.
This happens due to heavy usage and careless dumping of plastic wastes.
Some of the examples include covers (polythene bags), tea cups, water bottles, health care utilities like saline bottles, syringes etc.
They are used in large numbers and disposed immediately after use.
But where are they disposed? Only from our homes and hospitals but still the waste stays on earth.
These disposables are used regularly so finding an alternative seems to be a sole measure.
Also use of plastic is said cause diseases.
So an alternative could be aluminum foil tins or containers which can be recyclable.
Tips to Minimize Polythene Pollution
Avoidance of use of plastic is the best way minimize the pollution. But since we have made it inevitable we need to follow other methods like
Steps to be taken from public side:
1. Carrying cloth bags or other carry bags instead while going out for shopping. Avoid taking poly bags from stores. This can minimize the risk of polythene pollution to a large extent.
2. Carry water cans or bottles while going for office or travel. Don’t rely on mineral water bottles unless no other options exist. Also try to use the bottles again and again instead of disposing them after use. This way we can minimize wastage of plastic bottles and cause pollution.
3. Also avoid burning these ploy bags and other plastic material. This causes emission of harmful gases causing air pollution.
4. Try to reuse or recycle: Instead of throwing of the polythene bags, it is better to recycle and reuse them. This minimizes the need for use of more plastic covers.
Steps to be taken from government side.
There are instance where in government deliberately allows for polythene pollution.
1. Restrict the production of plastic bags: Previously paper, jute and other fiber bags were used for shopping and carry. Currently plastic bags have replaced them. This is because they are cheap, lighter and durable. But cloth related bags also serve the purpose. Government can encourage these bags b providing subsidy and restricting polythene bag usage.
2. Minimize the sale of plastic: Water bottles are sold in large number in the trains and bus stops. This is a marketing tactic to make revenue. But governments can and encourage supply of mineral water through plants so that passengers can avail the water into their own containers. This will greatly minimize plastic pollution. Also many liquid foods like tea, coffee,milk are sold in plastic container which can be harmful to health.
3. Encourage recycling: For some items plastic and polythene is inevitable like for syringes, medical pouches etc. Here the disposed ones should be encouraged for safe recycling and then sterilized. Also there should be restrictions in producing new plastic for regular use. Because production of new plastic is cheaper than recycling old. Many businesses tend to produce new instead of recycling the old.
5. Minimize use of sachets: Small sachets are a part of marketing tactic. Sachets of shampoo, pickles etc. help the customer to try before buying in large quantities.
But companies focus on sachets as way to increase sales. Because low income groups can easily afford a sachet than a bottle of shampoo.
These are disposable container for one time use and greatly add to plastic pollution spread and distribution.
6. Enhance the tax for plastic usage and also generation.
7. Regulate thickness of bags: Thick plastic bags take longer time to decay than thin ones. If the use is inevitable, use thin ones.
Safe disposable of plastic is another solution to minimize plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution depends on the extent of production, usage on one hand and the extent of its distribution on the other.
The greater the distribution, the more chances of soil and water contamination and vice-verse.
So governments should impose rules for safe disposal of polythene and plastics.
Disposal of plastic is done by degrading it under certain set of microbes which can efficiently decompose it in 3 months or less.
But trying to avoid plastic by all means is good for disease free life.