Over the years, plastic has become almost an inseparable part of our lives. There cannot be a day where we do not use/interact with plastic. Plastic came into our use as a boon. Plastics are durable, light weight, air tight, water tight, resistant to microbial actions, et cetera.
But this boon soon converted into a bane. Plastics do not decompose for hundreds of years. They remain as it is. And this pose towards the larger problem, how to get rid of the ever increasing mountain of plastic garbage? And honestly, there is no proper (& economical) way to do so.
One of the best way to reduce impending plastic menace is to reduce the use of plastic as much as possible and replace the use of plastic with other, natural/biodegradable materials.
Here I'll try to provide alternatives to the some plastic items of most common use-
This is one of the most common use of plastic and the most easily replaceable too. Plastic bags can be replaced with paper bags and cloth bags. Though I'll not recommend extensive use of paper bags. Paper bags are made from paper which in turn is made from trees. If we increase the use of paper bags, we cut down more trees. One way or the other we are harming nature.
Cloth bags, on the other hand are reusable. One bag can serve many rounds of shopping. Also, cloth bags are durable and can be made out of rejected clothes at home. Something like this-
Another daily use item for which plastic is extensively used is container. It's easy to replace plastic with other alternatives in case of containers. Just use metal containers. Metal containers have longer life span and durability. Though it might not be economical at once, but metal containers are a better investment. In addition to this, for places where see-through containers are required, use glass containers. Again not economical and requires extra attention while handling but that's the least we can do for Earth.
When we are traveling, plastic plates and glasses are convenient and easy to dispose. But they are a nightmare to nature. One, it adds to already increasing plastic garbage, two, without proper disposal facilities, these become litter and spoil the arena.
Though it is difficult to replace plastic ones in this case as carrying metal plates/glasses and washing them after every meal can be a tedious job. So instead, you can carry paper plates and glasses which are mader from recycled paper. At least plastic use can be reduced this way and paper recycling industry will get some boost.
E-waste broadly covers waste from all electronic and electrical appliances and comprises of items such as computers, mobile phones, digital music recorders/players, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions (TVs) and many other household consumer items. In India, about 1.2 million tonne of e-waste is generated every year, as per a study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
E-waste is a bigger hazard to nature not only due to plastic used but also due to toxic heavy metals used which, if leached into soil, can cause toxicity and many diseases in humans as well as other living communities.
The main solution to e-waste is reduce and recycle.
1st, we should reduce the number of electronic item. for e.g., do not buy extra mobile phones, extend the life span of your phone and other items.
2nd, when you discard your old electronic items, give them for recycling, preferably to genuine/official collection centers.