INNOVATIVE WAYS TO REUSE PLASTIC WHICH CAN BE PRACTICALLY IMPLEMENTED
With the evolution of mankind, we humans are busy inventing new things everyday to make our life easier and more comfortable, one such important invention is plastic. Plastics are synthetic materials that have polymers as their main ingredient, it was invented in the year 1907 and became popular by 1960’s. Today, it is the world’s most ubiquitous material.
We are aware that every great invention brings with itself some adverse effects, so did plastics. With its excessive usage and lack of proper disposal it is found everywhere. We may have came across garbage dumps consisting mostly of plastics and heard of cows and dogs engulfing plastic in search of food which is turns to be fatal. Let us draw our attention to something that is equally important and hazardous, but hardly anyone knows about it. The plastic waste in the oceans responsible for death and extinction of many exotic marine lives.
The great Pacific garbage patch is a Gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean caused by ocean currents. This patch consists mainly of waste plastic, fishing hooks, nets and other marine debris flowing mostly from Asian countries. Here arises a common question, “If the garbage is accumulated over particular area in Ocean why can’t we clean it”? Cleaning of this patch is not easy because over the years due to sunlight plastic broke down into micro plastics and is suspended in the water, it is so small that it shines and marine animals eat it mistaking it to be insects and eventually we humans consume it by food chain. It’s just like deadly plastic soup and cleaning even 1% requires deployment of approximately 67 ships and 1 year time. So, the best solution is to prevent plastics from entering sea by minimizing use of plastics and cleaning it to whatever extent is feasible.
We can minimize the use of plastic by putting limitations on factories where low quality plastic bags are manufactured :
✍ India proposed face out of single use plastic item by 2022.
✍ Covering drains and filtering its water by grills before meeting into rivers and oceans.
✍ Promoting use of high density polyethylene bag (above 50 micron) that does not decompose in sunlight into smaller parts.
✍ Placing dustbins and educating people living in coastal areas and urban areas through media and other possible ways because every individual action matters.
However for the existing plastics, there are many ways to re use them viz:
If we tieup with a dhaba, where food would be provided to derelicts in exchange for certain quantity of plastics then it would be beneficial for those people in getting food as well as for our surroundings, these collected plastics would be segregated and could be effectively used for different purposes like :
✍ Artists and craftsmen can use them in making household items like decorative bulbs, chandeliers, boxes, mobile charging pocket, decorative showpieces, pet feeder, bird feeder, etc. It would be helpful in providing them job opportunity and becoming independent.
✍ Plastic bottles could be used by gardener in making greenhouse, flower pots, water sprinkler, vase and even decorative plants can be kept in offices for showcase. It can also be used as a wall decoration on an entrance of a complex or Mall or even at home as it won’t even require land and would be environmentally beneficial.
✍ Plastics in house can be used for storage purpose like tools, paintbrush in store rooms. This is widely used, but it must be noted that HDPE plastics must be used.
✍ Artists also make sculptures out of waste plastic. Sculptures are mounted showcased publicly in park or buildings as show art. It can also be kept in museums like one in Patna museum and Eco Park. It is now a tourist attraction and also helps in the generating revenue.
✍ One company has repurposed Ocean garbage into brightly coloured solarpowered beach huts along the Singapore’s East Coast Park this should be implemented and promoted even by cafes and restaurants.
✍ Another important innovation is that nowadays, plastic waste is used in construction of roads and as building material and bricks.
In a nutshell, plastic uses should be reduced, and for the already existing plastics there are various ways which not only reduce waste and help environment in healing, but also provide job opportunities and are practically possible and as they are being used in some parts of the world. It only requires positive approach and individual efforts to turn it into a wonderful opportunity that has no drawbacks.