National

Thanksgiving for Plastics

Game Changer for reducing plastic print on map

“Thanks” is a powerful word. In India, we have known its importance since ages. Have you noticed that we distribute sweets and gifts to all after a marriage or other ceremony? After we distribute gifts, we join our hands to silently pay respect to them. We give these gifts and sweets to all friends, relatives and finally to our servants, drivers, maids, cooks, sweepers etc., and still we join hands. Why? It is just a way to say thanks to them for being a part of the function. These traditions are there for ages, and the whole system is working virtually trouble free.

Saying thanks is not always a verbal approach. Many a times, we say thanks by helping them by joining them in their work, by praising them in our hearts, if not publicly. However, there is another way to saying Thanks- Making their job simpler and easier.

During past couple of decades, plastics have started becoming a part of our lives. We use plastics and throw it away. No respect, no love, no thankfulness is included in whole act. As a result, the plastics after the use emerge as waste and started acting as a menace. Can we say ‘Thanks’ to plastics?

Saying thanks to plastics looks funny. And how to dispose plastic at home? Make a simple trial for innovative methods to reuse and dispose plastic. Next time when you use vegetable cooking oil packed in plastics, milk pouch or snacks packet, sweets, spices, pulses, bread, or new clothing, or shaving kit whatever is possible; don’t just throw away the pouch as it is. Now follow a simple procedure of how to dispose plastic bags. Take that pouch in your hands, in your heart, say thanks for making the product journey from supplier to you safe, and spread it flat- to remove its wrinkles.

Take a container of adequate size, and place it there- gently. Slowly and slowly, you’d be adding more and more plastic pouches in the container. After a fortnight or a month, the container shall be having a mix of several different varieties of plastics. Now, make a bundle of these.

Have you noticed rag pickers in your area? Many of you may dislike them. But there is a big role of rag pickers in keeping the environment clean.Do you know they collect empty plastic pouches, sell them to recyclers and earn their bread and butter? There are several problems faced by rag pickers while earning their livelihood from collecting garbage. To help them in earning livelihood, do a small act of kindness. Instead of throwing your collected plastic bundle with your household waste, put it there where you have seen rag pickers search for plastic waste. In place of a pouch, a bigger bundle will make them happy, will reduce their efforts in collecting their daily target, and simultaneously help you in reducing your contribution to plastic pollution. Remember, if a rag picker can collect more plastic in a day, his life would be better, the plastic recycling would increase slowly as the recyclers would start getting more raw material. Compared to an empty plastic pouch, your bundle will not be blown away thus you may see less and less empty pouches lying here and there.

I am not asking you to throw a farewell party to old pouches as you throw for a colleague after his or her retirement. Whenever you use plastics, just dispose these wisely, with love and with thanks.

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