According to a report by UNDP, the world produces 400 million tonnes of single-use plastic (SUP) waste annually. Out of this only, 9% of the plastic waste gets recycled. Plastic has become an inevitable part of our lives. We are directly or indirectly dependent on plastic. We are all familiar with the health hazards the use of plastic brings along. The burning of plastic causes air pollution which leads to respiratory problems, animals on land and water are prone to death and serious diseases because of consumption of plastic, the scenic beauty of the environment and water resources are all getting contaminated because of the plastic waste and throwing plastic here, and there is clogging drains and causing floods.
The concern is so grave that by the year 2050 we might have more plastic in the oceans than fishes. It is, therefore, essential that immediate action and measures be taken to manage plastic waste. There are many ways through which the use of plastic can be managed and curbed. Let’s find out some of the key ways.
The most effective way to manage plastic is recycling. The plastic waste can be segregated at source and be given for recycling. This recycled plastic can be further used in the construction of roads and streets instead of bottles, benches and bitumen. It will reduce the pollution caused due to plastic waste considerably.
Avoid using plastic bags and using paper and cloth bags instead is also very useful. Bags made of jute, cotton, etc. should be used while shopping or purchasing groceries. This will help cut the use of plastic and using eco- friendly alternatives instead.
The use of incinerators for burning plastic waste is also an effective way of managing plastic. There are incinerator centres outside the city limits, which eliminates vast volumes of plastic waste.
In many countries, the government has banned the use of plastics or products made with the particles of plastic. India also banned the selling and use of plastic last year. It helped reduce the dependency on plastic and instead of bringing their carry bags from home.
As a responsible citizen, one can help in managing plastic waste by avoiding throwing garbage in public places or rivers and waters, instead of using dustbins to throw the water bottles and other plastic material and following and abiding by the government rules and regulations concerning plastic management, creating awareness among other people in the society and making them realise the ill effects of using plastic.
The plastic waste can be managed effectively by following some of the ways mentioned above. Apart from this, being aware and creating awareness among the society and abiding by the guidelines given by the government can help in reducing the plastic waste considerably.