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India goes all out to Beat Plastic Pollution

| | New Delhi
India goes all out to Beat Plastic Pollution

While use of plastic is degrading the environment, this year on the World Environment Day, from academic to Government institutions all are working on the same line — “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

According to various studies and researches, around 87 per cent people in India are concerned about the ill-effect of non-recyclable waste.

Incidentally, according to a study conducted around the world by the United Nations, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, and every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 per cent of plastic we use is single use.

The study further states every year, up to 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into our oceans, where they smother coral reefs and threaten vulnerable marine wildlife. The plastic adversely affects oceans as the plastic ending up in the oceans can circle the Earth four times in a single year and it can persist for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates.

Nearly one third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting our natural environment, the report mentions. Explaining how plastic is threatening human and wildlife, an environmentalist mentioned that plastic makes its way into our water supply and thus into our bodies.

Plastic contains a number of chemicals, which are toxic and may disrupt hormones. Moreover, the substance also serves as a magnet for other noxious elements — dioxins, metals and pesticides.

Elaborating on non-recyclable waste, Parijat Chakraborty, Executive Director, Ipsos Public affairs, said non-recyclable waste is wreaking havoc on the environment and awareness building campaigns have sensitised Indians to its adverse impact.

“On the other hand, air pollution has reached, alarming proportions in some of the Indian metros leading to respiratory problems. Likewise, due to climate change, we are witnessing drought, floods and even landslides; and while, overpopulation is putting a huge strain on our resources, these issues will need tackling and it should start with decongesting our cities and adopting green fuels,” Chakraborty said.

Interestingly, on the use of non-recyclable waste, 87 per cent Indians said they are concerned about the effects of non-recyclable waste on the environment, which includes plastic packaging, plastic bags and other disposable objects that cannot be recycled. 

According to a study by Ipsos poll conducted between March 23 and April 6, 2018, 48 per cent Indians believe that Government investment to improve recycling would be effective, however, 40 per cent on the other hand feel that higher taxes on supermarkets and shops that use a lot of non-recyclable packaging would be effective.

On the re-use disposable items like plastic bags and plastic bottles, 50 per cent Indians said they re-use disposal items. Fifty per cent said they will buy more products made from recycled materials; 43 per cent said they will stop buying goods that have packaging that cannot be recycled and 39 per cent said they will stop going to supermarkets and shops which use a lot of packaging that cannot be recycled.

Interestingly, 28 per cent would pay extra for goods without recyclable packaging; and 24per cent said they will pay more tax so that recycling facilities can be improved.



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