How much Plastic do humans consume?
If you thought that was an odd question, you’d be surprised to learn that an average human consumes the equivalent of one credit card per week!
One third of all plastic the world produces ends up in our oceans polluting the seas and affecting the poor marine animals that end up eating these. Of particular concern are the micro-plastic particles that plague our oceans which is consumed by fish. This fish, when eaten by humans, end up in our system. The medical world is yet to fully understand the health consequences this has on our bodies.
Researchers estimate (source: https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/credit-card-plastic-04323/) that people who eat Mussels might end up consuming 11,000 micro-plastic particles a year. And if you thought vegetarians are free from this risk, think again. Even sea-salt has micro-plastic and 1 kilogram of sea-salt could have 600 micro-plastic particles in it.
In all, scientists estimate that humans might be consuming 50,000 micro-plastic pieces every year. It is upon us to act immediately to eliminate single-use plastic and micro plastic from our lives in order to save ourselves, if not the environment.
India consumes an estimated 16.5 million tonnes (1.6 million truckfull) of plastic annually according to a June 2018 report by PlastIndia Foundation. 43% of this is single-use packaging material which mostly end up in garbage heaps since only 20% of Plastic produced annually is recycled. It is now common knowledge that this plastic waste ends up clogging our waterways harming marine life and also pollutes our soil by leaching poisonous toxins.
At the UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) held in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2019, India piloted a resolution on phasing out single-use plastic by 2025. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had said
“The choices that we make today will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”
In tandem with this, India has unveiled a campaign to tackle plastic pollution along its 4,660 miles of coastline and will seek to make 100 national monuments litter-free.
On this World Environment Day, it is upon each of us to ensure that material prosperity does not compromise our environment. Reducing usage, reusing materials and recycling disposables are imperative diktats that each one of us has to adhere, in order to make the 2025 deadline of eliminating plastic a reality.
Plastic pollution is caused due to the accumulation of the waste plastic material in the environment. Plastic is a non-biodegradable substance. It doesn’t get disposed off in the soil or water and its effect is worse when burnt. It is thus a challenge to dispose it off. It remains in the environment for hundreds of years and causes air, water and land pollution. It is hazardous for the humans, animals as well as the plants. Several animals, birds and marine creatures die due to plastic pollution each year.
Plastic plates, bags, spoons, glasses and other material are readily available in the market. These are economical and easy to use. We all prefer using these use-and-throw utensils during gatherings and parties as it removes the hassle of clearing and cleaning the utensils later. All we need to do is to gather these and throw them away. However, little do we realize that this waste does not go away completely. It continues to remain in the environment and harm us in the long run.
Here are few facts that explain the amount plastic pollution we have caused this environment:
Only 10% of water bottles are recycled. The other 90% wind up in landfills or oceans. Carry your own bottle or make sure you recycle
Plastic pollution, caused due to plastic waste, has reached alarming heights and is increasing rapidly with every passing day. It has become a cause of global concern as it is destroying our beautiful planet and having negative repercussions on all kinds of living beings.
Here are two simple ways to lower plastic pollution that we can practice in our daily life:
Avoid Usage/ Look for Alternatives
The first and the most important step towards beating plastic pollution is to avoid the usage of plastic products.
Now, since we have grown quite accustomed to using plastic products and these are light on our pocket, we cannot avoid their usage completely. However, we can certainly avoid using those plastic products that can easily be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. For instance, instead of using plastic bags, we can easily opt for a jute, cloth or paper bag when we head for shopping. Likewise, instead of using disposable plastic cutlery and utensils during parties we can use those made of steel, paper or any other material which is reusable or easy to dispose.
If you cannot avoid using plastic bags or other products for some reason then it is suggested to at least reuse them as many times as you can before disposing them off. We are in a habit of throwing the plastic bags and containers we get with packed food almost immediately after use even though these can be used a couple of times before disposing off. We should reuse these instead. This can be our contribution towards reducing the plastic waste and bringing down plastic pollution.
It is time for us to stand united to fight this evil called plastic pollution. If each one of us follows the ways to beat plastic pollution shared here then we can certainly bring down the pollution level to a large extent
The world consumes nearly 1/2 trillion PET Bottles every year, with a million Plastic Bottles bought around the world every minute! Placed end to end vertically, the bottles we discard will reach half way to the sun! PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a highly recyclable material. Yet only 50% of the bottles are collected, of which, only 7% end up being recycled into new bottles.
In order to encourage the public to start “recycling”, Sharon Ply has installed a REVERSE VENDING MACHINE at Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai. This machine will accept PET bottles and cans and, in return, give coupons that can be redeemed at select food outlets and stores. The machine has a slot for people to drop their empty water bottles or cola cans. The machine will return coupons for the dropped PET bottles/cans which can be redeemed in the respective outlets mentioned in coupon. This machine crushes the collected PET bottles/cans which is gathered and sent to Recycling units.
This machine is one of the first of its kind to be installed in Chennai. The inauguration was done by Mr. D. Sekar – Member Secretary, TNPCB, on 27th February, 2019 at 08.00 pm. The event was also attended by Mr. Vishnu Khemani, Managing Director – Sharon Ply and Mr. G. Dinakaran, DGM, EA Mall.
The machines are manufactured by M/s. Zeleno Pvt. Ltd., Delhi. Installing these machines at public places with lot of traffic is sure to highlight the need for recycling. Since the effort taken to recycle is rewarded with coupons, Sharon Ply hopes that Tamil Nadu soon becomes a leader in plastic recycling.
Sharon Ply’s PET Bottle crusher at Madurai Bus Terminus information shared on Dinamalar.
PET Bottle crushed and recycled to build new roads.
In a year, the world consumes nearly half a trillion Plastic bottles with only half of it getting collected for recycling. The rest of the plastic goes to landfills or the ocean where they break down and enter our food chain. PET bottles are carelessly thrown around in our country without thinking twice about recycling. In order to make it easy for people to make the responsible choice and recycle the PET bottles, Sharon Ply has commissioned a PET bottle collection & shredding machine at Madurai’s Mattuthavani Bus Terminus. Thousands of passengers who use this terminus can now dispose of their water/juice bottles (after emptying contents). The machine is maintained by W2W enterprise who will handle the collection of the shredded plastic for recycling.
Join Sharon Ply in our efforts to make the country safe from #PlasticPollution by taking a pledge at www.isaynotoplastic.com. #isaynotoplastic#SaveourOceans
Our world is full of problems. Most people complain about the problems and just move on without ever doing anything to fix the problems. Sharon Ply thinks differently and gets down to making a difference through dedicated action. #iSayNoToPlastic is an initiative that Sharon Ply cares deeply about and we have undertaken several activities to address the growing problem of #PlasticPollution. Here is a short video compilation of some of the major activities undertaken by Sharon Ply in the recent months to take the message of #iSayNoToPlastic to the public.