We’ve all seen the headlines about the huge environmental problems caused by Plastics. Governments and corporations have a responsibility to take action on plastic awareness– but what can we do to cut down our plastic footprint?
As a start of removing our plastic footprint, Our Bannari Amman Institute of Technology MTS students section along with World Wide Fund for Nature India (WWF) and Tamil Nadu Forest Department organised Plastic Awareness Workshop cum Cleanup Campaign at Sathyamangalam Forest Reserve, Erode District, TamilNadu.
The Plastic cleanup campaign witnessed the participation of 60 volunteers. During the awareness campaign Environmental activist Ms V Sasi School of Excellence in Law, Dr Ambedkar Government Law University, Chennai and Forest Guards motivated 45 BIT student volunteers and 15 MTS student members.
Over 60 bags of plastic waste were removed along the Bhavani Sagar dam catchment area.
Reduce Plastic Waste – Why is it so Important?
Plastic waste is fast becoming a widely recognised problem. While it is an important material for our economy, providing multiple benefits to modern-day living, plastic can take thousands of years to biodegrade. It takes up valuable space in landfill sites and is polluting the natural environment, having a significant impact on our oceans.
It is strong, light, cheap and very versatile. The majority of plastic trash does not get reused or recycled and experts believe that 50% of plastic is single-use, meaning it is used once before being discarded. Single-use plastic includes plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic grocery bags etc.
How much plastic does India Produce?
Like much of the world, India is struggling to dispose its plastic waste – from our toothbrushes to debit cards.
India generates close to 26,000 tonnes of plastic a day, according to a CPCB estimate from 2012.
Worse, a little over 10,000 tonnes a day of plastic waste remains uncollected.
The uncollected plastic waste eventually ends up in the natural environment. At less than 11 kg, India’s per capita plastic consumption is nearly a tenth of the US, at 109 kg.
Pollution on Global level
While getting rid of plastic waste is the primary environmental problem, the production process is a leading cause of carbon emissions contributing to Global Warming.
It takes a lot of energy and resources to make plastic, with more than 90% being produced from fossil fuel resources. Experts believe that if current trends continue, in 30 years’ time 20% of global oil consumption and 15% of global carbon emissions will be associated with plastic production.
Creating bottled water takes 2000 times the energy than it does to produce tap water!!
BIT Plastic Awareness Workshop cum Cleanup Campaign
The Plastic Awareness Workshop cum Cleanup Campaign was conducted on 17 August 2019. Dr C Palanisamy, Principal, BIT welcomed the gatherers and addressed the necessity of avoiding plastic in daily life.
The key speakers are,
Prof P. Sakthivel, School of Excellence in Law,
Dr Ambedkar Government Law University, Chennai,
Mr N.Ravikumar, Assistant Coordinator, WWF, India and
Mr Siva Subramanian Forest Ranger, Sathyamangalam
They addressed the gathering about plastic pollution problems in Sathyamangalam Forest Reserve, Bhavani Sagar dam catchment area.
They stated the significant responsibility of students and common man to spread the importance of keeping our reserved forest plastic-free.
The BIT MTS Student Councilor Mr D. Selvamuthukumaran AP/Mech, Event Coordinator and the faculty member Ms Vinothini B AP/CSE accompanied with the students for the Cleanup campaign.
Conclusion on Plastic – A New powerful Enemy of the Environment
It is likely to be impossible to eliminate plastic completely from our lives. But there are steps which can be taken to help reduce the amount of plastic which we are using.
So instead of closing down plastic manufacturing and trading units and rendering lakhs jobless, they should have been nudged to produce alternatives.
Plastic users should be provided with feasible alternatives, which are not costly and made aware of these options. The industry should also be pushed to work on R&D to work on packaging alternatives, provided with time to work on this and given targets to phase out different types of plastic
Otherwise, we need to be ready to live in a world where there is plastic in our food, water and bodies.
Here is 15 Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Our Plastic Usage Daily