Beat Plastic Pollution – A small yet strong step, a giant leap to save the environment

By Aryaa Sridar

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Have you ever seen the Tasmanian tiger AKA the Tasmanian wolf? Well, I have not and I would never get to see that species ever again. Not just the Tasmanian Tiger, I or rather we will never ever get to see the beauty of the ivory-billed woodpecker, never get to see the majestic Indian Auroch and never again we will be awed by the magnificent White Rhino. These animals are considered possibly extinct as of today. The undeniable reason behind their disappearance is us, a species considered superior with high intelligent and emotional quotient – human beings. Pathetic! Isn’t it?
Plastic Pollution is considered as and proven to be the major cause of the extinction of a lot of species. In fact, in the last couple of minutes alone, a hundred and twenty thousand plastic bottles have been thrown away and each of them is literally threatening the existence of our lives on this dear Earth. So, the theme of this year’s Environment Day as declared and accepted by the UN and all the countries is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. What a perfect theme! It suits aptly for the current global situation—just the need of the hour to battle environmental illiteracy among all sections of society.
Plastic has managed to usurp the very roots of our environments, affecting the strong foundation on which we have constructed the humanity complex and built our structural empires. Arguably, we cannot just go about blaming plastic for all these unfortunate affairs. Plastic is a beneficial substance. No doubt. Unfortunately, again the sin is upon us for violating its usage every day.
You might come to think that only small everyday use plastics can affect the environment but no! There are more than 1,200 species of animals that either get strangled, or misshapen by larger plastic strands, and sometimes plastics behave as a huge choking hazard to the unsuspecting little creatures lurking in every corner of this vast planet. Plastics thrown away randomly, can increase the rate of evaporation, and introduce chemicals to the soil thereby changing soil chemistry and affecting the food habits and lifestyle of all the animals including human beings.
Preventing plastic pollution, the mayhem we created over the years, is easier said than done. But, we do have a very strong chance to overcome this onerous predication. To have a real lasting impact, we must work together, and we must work swiftly. Change must start from the self. Every time, we see or use a plastic article, we must, either, dispose of them in a plastics-only bin, or find a way to reuse the bottle in another innovative way. Such use not only boosts the health of the environment but also the creative juices that flow in your think-tank. By taking small steps like recycling plastic articles, choosing not to overuse plastic, and promoting the same across nearby communities, might just turn this predicament around and give us new hope.
Remember, the steps that we intend to take this time must definitely be smarter, wiser, and stronger with the experience of tackling a huge monster in our abuse of plastic. I would like to quote Neil Armstrong – a sure and apt one at this hour, I am sure you all will agree – One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. Let us take the small steps together and make this world a better place.