Plastic Vs Planet

By Sharvanth S

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The revolutionized world we live in is filled with technological advancements, resource exploitation, and human development, we always tend to be short-sighted looking into the needs of the near future rather than in the long run. A good example of the above situation is with plastic. Plastic made from fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gasses can be found scattered on almost every street.

Plastic is a substance that can be easily synthesized and provides an awesome medium to do various activities/tasks. From being used in construction, all the way to energy generation (inside solar cells), it is indeed an excellent innovation that makes lives simpler.

We must understand that every good thing in the universe comes with its set of cons. Though plastic is a wonderful innovation with various uses, it is non-biodegradable meaning it cannot decay. Their accumulation on road corners, public places, and water bodies causes nuisance. They pose the threat of choking for animals that try to eat the edible items packed in them.

As mentioned above plastic is made from oil, coal, and other natural resources. Today, its use is pervasive in the form of plastic bags, food boxes, packets and so much more. Wouldn’t you be grossed out if you get to know that all the toxins and other chemical impurities present in plastic from the time when it was synthesized directly enter into your body with the help of oil? Hence, it is important to avoid using plastic at all costs.

Globally and especially the government of India has taken a lot of initiatives towards banning plastic and spreading awareness on stopping its usage. The use of plastics has been reduced drastically, which is a huge win for the country. By banning plastics, we are saving millions of lives including ours, and storing fossil fuels for the next generation.

But we must take into consideration that plastic cannot be entirely banned. Thus efforts must be made to ensure its usage to a minimal extent. This has led to people looking into innovations with plastic that could help not only humans but other species and the environment as well.

Let us discuss a few wonderful innovations in which plastic has been used.

Imagine going to school and putting your books onto the desk, only to notice them being made with weird patterns. They look awfully similar to the Tetra Pak cartons you were using yesterday. You take a closer look to find out that there were actually a lot of Tetra Pak cartons fused to create the bench that you were using that day.

Tetra Paks Go Green Initiative

This happened in a school in Mumbai. With the help of an organization, the school collected plastic cartons from the students and used them to create desks for their classrooms. That’s one innovative idea, I must say.

Up next comes an idea that can be quite shocking. Plastic is usually delicate and can be torn easily. But two insightful women – Ovy Sabrina and Novita Tan spent 18 months creating a formula that can turn plastic into bricks. Though these bricks cannot hold the weight of an apartment, they are a wonderful alternative in pathways, walkways, and other places.

The duo collects plastic waste and turns it into eco-bricks. Photo courtesy of Ovy Sabrina

We all know art is an emotion. It doesn’t matter which color or canvas you use, art unites us all together. This 27-year-old mastermind, Chisomo Lifa turned plastic into beautiful art. Lifa melts bottles and bags and molds them into animals, which he paints and varnishes.

Artist Chisomo Lifa with some of the elephant sculptures he makes from recycled plastic. Photograph: Amos Gumulira/The Guardian

Plastic into art is a wonderful concept of mixing creativity with plastic abolition, and that was one idea I enjoyed.

These innovations above go to show that there are indeed various methods to reduce plastic. It is our duty and our responsibility to minimize the use of plastic. This change with every single man on the planet can have a great effect on the entire globe.

With the coming up of World Earth Day – falling on the 22nd of April, everybody must take the initiative and spread awareness on reducing the use of plastic and the growth of trees. One person can affect a family, one family can affect a society, and one society can affect the states and eventually all countries around the world. All it takes is for you to take one initiative towards plastic usage minimalization and growth of trees. One such simple act can have a positive effect on millions of people around the world.