Given India’s struggle with managing waste, Bangalore has stepped up its efforts to try and manage waste and particularly “plastic waste”.
The way “plastic” has slowly but surely blended into our life is truly shocking. In fact, we cannot have anything in life without plastic playing a role in it (plastic grocery bags, plastic cups, plastic plates , plastic bottles, plastic spoons, plastic wraps, plastic garbage bags to name a few) The environment seems to be eroding with “plastic overdose” and just like our “digital footprint”, the “plastic footprint” is getting huge as well. Consider these few facts about plastic:
- “The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year”
- “It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade”
- “50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away”
- “One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.” (Source: Ecowatch: http://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html)
While the discussion of plastic and its ill effects have been discussed about it in length – very few countries/societies are working towards making their environment a “plastic free zone”. In that regard, Bengaluru/Bangalore, India is definitely making a gigantic step in preserving the environment and going “green”.
How are they doing it?
Rather than produce plastic and recycle it (which may or may not occur for most of us) – the key is to not use it at all in the first place. This is how it is done:
- No plastic bags at all for carrying away groceries etc. Each person who wants to shop must bring their own cloth bags.If they do forget to bring their own cloth bags, they can buy re-usable cloth bag at a cool price ranging from 5Rs/bag – 25 Rs/bag!
- No plastic bags to bag the vegetables, fruits too – anything that needs to be bagged is done only in brown paper bags or newspaper bags
- Reduced forms of plastic in takeaway restaurants – like wooden cutlery(no more plastic spoons, knives, forks etc)
- No forms of plastic to be used as trash bags. The waste is segregated at source as (wet waste, dry waste) and managed appropriately. Wet waste is mostly converted to compost for plants.
It might not be a big step in waste management and results might not be visible immediately but every little step could mean a much more healthy environment! How are you eliminating plastic waste today?