What can we as individuals do about plastic?

What can we as individuals do about plastic?

Welcome back to FUTURE BANGLA (Previously everything clean), this will be the last blog in a 5 part series on plastics, if you wish to read from the start please click here. If you are all caught up, we hope we were able to give you the right idea of the impact plastics have had on our lives. In our previous blogs, we discussed the history and the current state of the plastic industry & its social & political impact. For this part we would like to focus on the future & how our actions now could change the world for the better when it comes to plastics. 

Before saying anything else, we want to make it absolutely clear that we are not advocating a complete boycott of plastics from our lives. That, at this day and time, is quite impossible even if that was something that we were suggesting as a potential solution for our plastic problem. First and foremost, “we would like to focus on our mindfulness on the issue of plastics“.

We would like to focus on our mindfulness on the issue of plastics

If you simply had to list some of the activities where plastics were involved in your daily/weekly/monthly lives, it would look something like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, your daily skincare routine, putting on makeup, clothing, eating out/getting takeaway, shopping, drinking bottle water & soft drinks and anything else you can think of in your personal life. Just practice thinking about plastic and where it exists around you. Think of it like when you are on a diet, you need to think about which food contains what amount of calories right? Think of plastics as laddus, they are so good but oh so bad for your health!  

Once you know where all the plastic in your life is, your actions to curb its usage are fairly simple, avoid disposable plastic, such as take out containers, poly bags etc.

Cook at home, it is fun for the family and good for the environment.  Try reusing laundry and shopping bags as much as possible.

If you drink bottled water, try buying larger bottles instead of the smaller ones, or just install water filters at home/office and drink from the tap.

Try to avoid cosmetics with microbeads and use products with natural exfoliants.

Try to separate out the plastics before throwing them out and ask your local community/clubs to partner with recycling plants in and around Dhaka city.

There are companies that are out there that are more environmentally conscious and have bottle exchange schemes (https://zepto.com.bd/). If you prefer a specific company’s products but want them to be more conscious about plastic pollution, write to them, talk to them, take the time to reach out, you never know, you might be able to spark something within them. 

The good news about plastics’ future is that there are a lot of alternatives in terms of tough and flexible biodegradable technology that have been popping up recently. Biodegradable plastics from renewable sources could take over one day in the future. There are microorganisms that are being genetically engineered to consume our wasted plastic preventing them from depositing in the ocean, meaning a healthier ecology for our future generations. So there are things the scientific community is diligently trying, in the meantime our mindfulness about the issue and small steps towards reducing plastic usage can make a huge difference.

The problem we are facing is not only of the environment but a problem which will show our lack of humanity over time. If we fail to take action now, our children and their future generations will suffer a lot more than we are. We have to take the necessary steps to make sure they think that we cared.   

And remember we are all stuck in this blue dot together, there is no other planet yet we can call home, none that can show us the hospitality that earth has shown us this far. So as it has taken care of us for millions of years now, we need to find it within us to take care of it in whatever way we can.      

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