Say No to these nine things and save our planet Earth
Did you know that sanitary pads, face wash contain plastic? Or the synthetic clothes you wear contribute towards increase in pollution? There have been surgical removals of plastic of up to 70 kg from a cow’s rumen (stomach) because of the garbage (food waste) we dispose of in plastic bags. Whales with stomachs full of plastic bags, turtles with straws up their noses are slowly becoming very common.
Today, plastic has become a big menace and it is found in every nook and cranny on land and in waters. Only a few types of plastics can be re-cycled. Plastic garbage that ends up in landfills and oceans take thousands of years to degrade and there’s an increasing concern about the toxins they release into the environment.
On this Earth Day, let us think of ways (whatever small way we can) in which we can contribute to save our beautiful planet – to make it plastic free by reducing our plastic pollution footprint.
1. Plastic containers and plastic baby feeding bottles: Can easily be replaced with steel, aluminum or glass containers. Use glass baby feeding bottles instead of plastic bottles.
2. Liquid shower gel/body wash and hand wash in plastic packaging: While the former can be replaced with bar soaps, hand wash can be transferred into steel or metal dispensers.
3. Disposable razor: These can be replaced with a razor with replaceable blades.
4. Batteries packed in plastic: Use rechargeable batteries for electronic items, torches, blood pressure machines, etc.
5. Avoid toothpaste and cosmetic products like face wash, body lotion, etc. which contain microbeads: Chances are that the toothpaste or face wash you use contain microbeads. Some reports say that a tube of face wash contain over 3, 00,000 plastic microbeads. Microbeads are extremely small pieces of plastic, usually used in cleansing products as exfoliating agents. They are causing big environmental problems in our oceans and lakes. We can check their presence in a product by looking for polyethylene or polypropylene in the ingredient list.
It is better to avoid products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and nylon.
6. Choose clothes made with natural fibers whenever possible: A lot of our plastic pollution that goes into the sea comes from microfibres – the small fibres that wash out of our clothes. Synthetic clothes, polyester and fleece, shed small plastic fibers when washed that pollute rivers and oceans.
7. Replace your plastic kitchen items: This isn’t very tough. For example, plastic blender or plastic cutting boards can easily be replaced with a glass blender and wood or glass cutting boards. Try thinking about such simple alternatives for other plastic items.
8. Your sanitary pads may have plastic in it: Well, well, ladies, here’s the bad news! Nowadays, markets are flooded with plastic-based sanitary pads, with some reports suggesting that they are roughly 90% plastic. Sanitary waste is either incinerated, releasing harmful gasses and toxic waste, or sent to a landfill. The plastics used in sanitary pads, liners and tampon applicators do not biodegrade at all, and remain in the environment unchanged for hundreds of years. Further, usage of such pads can lead to health complications in women.
Switch to organic menstrual pads without any plastic materials and made of banana fibre, period panties or a menstrual cup.
9. Disposable diapers are no different: Cloth nappies/ diapers can be used instead of disposable diapers, which are likely to contain plastic. Besides the health hazards, these diapers are said to take up to 500 years to break down. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year, accounting for more than 3.5 million tons of waste.
In this way we can make a start to reduce our plastic pollution footprint and save our planet before it gets too late.
– Written by Anisha Arora
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Eight easy ways students can reduce plastic pollution