Plastic – A boon or a bane?
Here we are discussing the topic of plastic a boon or bane
Boon because- plastic a boon or bane
Plastic has replaced metals and glass as the primary material used.
1. They provide good insulation for the wiring and are durable in extreme weather conditions.
2. They provide us with a good non-reactive medium as water pipes.
3. They are lightweight and colorful.
Safe for children when they are food-grade plastics. Ordinary plastics cause health hazards to humans when eaten in them.
Handy as disposable bags, carry bags, wrapping paper, etc.
Bane because- plastic a boon or bane
Obstruct underground water percolation.
Microbes cannot destroy them.
Produce harmful gases when burnt.
Plastic bags thrown into the open drains and sewers clog them and cause stagnation of water, which in turn poses health hazards
Disposable syringes, drip bottles, blood, urine bags, and other medical accessories when disposed of in an irresponsible manner, cause a lot of serious health problems.
Animals sometimes feed on plastics and die painfully as plastic chokes their digestive and respiratory tracts.
What we can do:
Avoid using plastic bags for shopping.
Avoid disposing of plastic bags with organic wastes.
Avoid using plastic chairs and tables.
Plastic is made of crude oil. So lesser usage of plastic saves the crude oil.
A two-decade-old debate is being revived all over again!! Plastics have invariably courted controversy while the industry grew in leaps and bounds!! The plastic industry comprises of a workforce that is four million in strength spread over 30,000 processing and manufacturing units. The total worth is a whopping ₹1 trillion as of the year 2015 and poised to grow at an astounding rate of 10.5% till 2020!! India exports $8.8 billion worth of plastic which is equivalent to 3% of its exports in 2017 – 2018.
A blanket ban on plastics is hence beyond financial viability!!
India cannot be bracketed among the worst offenders as the usage in the US of A is exponentially higher (almost ten-fold). In France, a ban will be imposed by 2020 only on the usage of plastic plates, cups, and utensils. Sweden has a state-of-the-art recycling mechanism available that facilitates multiple usages of plastic. The trash in Sweden gets burnt in incinerators thereby permitting free usage of plastic. In Ireland and China, plastic bags are extravagantly priced impacting consumption by 94% and 50% respectively!! Rwanda is probably the only country that has put a ban on all non-biodegradable plastics and is known to coerce citizens to refrain from their usage through the imposition of hefty penalties and jail terms for non-conformance.
18 states in India have imposed a total ban on single-use plastics and 25 states, have a partial ban!! The government is keen to enforce a total ban by 2022 provided the ruling dispensation gets a nod from the voting community of 2019!!
However, the ill-effects of plastics are explicit and less questionable:
- Plastic takes around 500 to 1000 years to degrade. Recycling four to five times is permitted before it is dumped into the landfills.
- India generates 56 lacs tonnes of plastic wastes annually.
- India’s contribution to the dumping of plastic into the world’s ocean is a jeering 60% and ranks fourth among the producers of plastic wastes!!
- Animals are worst hit, as per the SPCA the rumenotomy (initial stomach) of a cow was found to embody 54 kilograms of plastic. Human beings would also be infected due to the plastic remnants in their stomach.
Nevertheless, it is felt in more eloquent circles that a ban should pave way for befitting alternatives. A paper could serve for one-time use but may not serve as a perfect alternative unless it does not have a plastic coating. Jute or cellulose may be used multiple times but may not serve as a viable alternative primarily due to the excessive pricing.
Nudging rather than coercion would be the natural stimulant that would effectively regulate the nation in the drive against plastic usage. Maintaining orderliness in the use and disposal of plastic is the need of the hour, to contain its use to the optimum while aiding the manufacturers in their gradual shift to a suitable alternative that could be followed in tandem.
Ironical that the innovation of plastics was initiated to resolve the yearnings for feasible packaging material, the same is now being viciously condemned and slated for a ban on its use!!!
In the never-ending lists of banned items, the government proposes to include plastics as well!!!