Eight easy ways students can reduce plastic pollution

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Today is Earth Day. World over, various events are being held to create awareness about the environment. This year, the focus is on Plastic Pollution. We all know that plastics can’t be recycled but did you know that nearly 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year, thus endangering our marine life? And imagine the plastic garbage that ends up in landfills – there’s an increasing concern about the toxins they release into the environment.

While we can’t completely do away with plastic in a day, here are a few ways through which we can contribute towards environment protection in our own small way:

Say no to:

  1. Plastic pens and sharpeners: Replace them with ink pens or steel body pens and steel sharpeners.
  2. Plastic bottles, ice cube trays and tiffin boxes: Let us carry our own reusable steel, aluminum bottles or a steel flask while travelling to school, picnics, etc. and stop using mineral water bottles. At home, we can start using glass bottles to store water in the refrigerator.
    Similarly, use steel or aluminum ice cube trays/ lunch boxes instead of plastic ones.
  3. Plastic handle toothbrush and hairbrushes: Replace them with a bamboo handle or wooden handle toothbrush and hairbrushes, available on most online shopping sites.
  4. Plastic straws: Replace them with bamboo straws, paper straws, metal straws, glass straws, silicone straws, available on most online shopping sites. Or simply drink from the glass or the bottle.
  5. Disposable cutlery (plastic spoons and forks)/ plastic plates/ cups/ glasses: Use items made of thermocol or aluminum foil or leaves. Or carry your own set of steel cutlery in your bag when you go out.
  6. Plastic idols of Gods:Can be replaced with clay idols made by the potter.
  7. Chewing Gum:Gum was originally made from tree sap called chicle, a natural rubber. Nowadays, many companies are using synthetic rubber, polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate instead of natural rubber.
  8. Plastic carry bags:Can be replaced with a reusable jute or cloth bag or cardboard boxes.

Join a beach cleanup:

On March 30,2018, hatchlings from a vulnerable turtle species, the Olive Ridley turtles, were spotted for the first time in decades on a beach in Versova, Mumbai. That was because the beach was rejuvenated in the past two years by a massive volunteer cleanup operation. So, every time you visit a beach, pick up three pieces of plastic and ask others to do the same. Soon, you will see the difference.

– ​ Written by Anisha Arora

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Say No to these nine things and save our planet Earth

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