To reduce plastic waste, one should practise conscious lifestyle habits. Recycle the used plastic waste. Replacing the single-use plastic items with recyclable ones or switching to biodegradable disposable products are non-toxic options like paper straws and utensils. Try to buy food products from the local farmers and try to avoid food packed in plastic containers. We should also opt for biodegradable packaging whenever available and reduce, reuse and recycle. Furthermore, we can also ask stores to consider paper, bamboo and aluminium as alternatives to plastic packaging. Apart from this, governmental regulations and incentives can play a crucial role in encouraging people to reduce their use of plastic.
Hence, a multi-faceted approach needs to be taken in order to ensure that the impacts of plastic waste can be minimised. We all should join our hands to fight against the menace of plastic pollution. We can be part of the global plastic-free movement and take concrete steps to stop using plastic wherever possible. Everyone must understand their responsibilities towards reducing the waste and taking necessary steps for preserving our environment.
Here are the few reasons that how plasticware is impacting our environment in a harmful way:
1. Contamination of Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems: Plastics like plastic cutlery can break down into tiny fragments that easily travel into marine and freshwater environments, thus resulting in severe water pollution. biodegradable disposable products are fragments, which may have potentially harmful chemicals and other contaminants, have been found in food items that marine and aquatic creatures consume, eventually leading to their poisoning.
2. Releases Harmful Substances: Most single-use plastics contain various hazardous substances that leach out when exposed to hot liquids and foods. The toxins, including endocrine disruptors like BPA, DEHP and PCBs, are absorbed in our bodies and can be very harmful, potentially leading to reproductive problems, immune system damage, developmental disorders, and other long-term health risks.
3. Takes Up Space in Landfills: Non-recyclable plastics make up approximately 12% of all trash worldwide and as such they fill up landfills and contribute to air and water pollution in the form of methane and leachate, respectively. The mass amount of waste generated by plasticware leads to significant carbon dioxide and other gas emissions, eventually leading to an increase in global warming.
4. Reduces Available Natural Resources: Plastic is a non- biodegradable material and does not easily breakdown over time. Its production involves using natural resources such as petroleum, water, and gas, which will become increasingly scarce as plastic production continues. Therefore, reducing the usage of plastic cutlery is essential for sustaining natural resources.
Single use plastic: Danger to marine life.
Below are few tips are given
I. Use Compostable Tableware-
Ecoware tableware is made of a combination of polylactic acid (PLA), a type of bioplastic, and a mixture of compostable natural additives like potato starch, wood pulp, and bamboo. PLA is produced from plants and is certified to meet both US and European compostability standards. These tableware are 100% backyard compostable which means they break down in regular compost piles with no harm to the environment. This eco-friendly tableware comes in a variety of forms, such as cutlery, plates, cups, and more. Not only do these products create less waste but also save energy during production and manufacturing.
II. Use Reusable Metal Cutlery-
Metallic cutlery is an excellent choice for parties and large gatherings. They are reusable and are highly durable which means they will last longer. Unlike biodegradable tableware, which is disposable, metallic cutlery can be used multiple times and are also easy to clean. As an added benefit, metallic cutlery also adds a stylish touch to your table settings.
III. Stop Using Single-Use Plastics-
Many restaurants can go a step further and take a plastic-free initiative. They could start with refusing all single-use plastic items like straws and stirrers, cups and cutlery, and instead switch to reusable options such as metal straws and spoons, bamboo toothpicks, reusable cloth napkins, and other biodegradable disposable products or recyclable products. Another idea could be for restaurants to implement a BYO container policy for takeaway orders, to eliminate plastic food containers. As more and more people become aware of the harm that plastic causes to the environment, more restaurants and other businesses should follow in this sustainable path.