Climate and Environment
Adverse Effects of Plastics on Environment and Health
By Vimenu Richa
Plastics- one of the greatest inventions ever made. They are the most functional and convenient packaging option for customers and businesses, from shopping, retailing to parcelling plastic bags is used around the word in a large scale.
But the question is, whether we are utilizing it in the proper manner? The most common answer would be ‘NO’. We have become so dependent towards the one time plastic bags that today we do not bother to carry shopping bags while marketing. An eye opener would be the survey conducted by the organization (The Coming Generation), where we found that 90% of the household being surveyed goes to the market empty handed. It is also found that only 2% of the household recycles the plastic bag which they get from the market.
Kohima, the capital of Nagaland on its journey to become the smart city of the state has been rapidly merging into changes with its own set of challenges. The establishment of business since the last 5 years, where in every 2 feet to 5 feet distance a shop can be found and every year new construction for shopping complexes have been witnessed in the town. According to Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) there are around 4309 shops registered under them.
With the increasing number of population, the consumer in the market also rises. The establishment of business becomes more competitive and consumer service becomes important when looking into making consumer satisfied. Packing products in plastic bags is the most common way of giving away products for the comfort of the costumers. In every business in Kohima, almost all the shops use plastic bags (mostly one time use plastic) but what matter here is that plastic with its own advantages also comes along with its disadvantages. As a very well-known fact plastic is non-biodegradable and do not decay by the biological action of microbes. They remain in the state as we throw them making our cities, land, water bodies and soil polluted. The amount of just ‘One-Time Plastic Bags’ we consume can cover our earth four times and takes 500-1000 years to decay.
The only solution to put an end to plastic hazard is to take preventive measures such as minimizing the use of plastic wherever possible; to opt for recycling bags and also to recycle the used plastics. Encourage one another to use cloth bags, jute bags or any other alternatives or substitute which is eco-friendly. The Coming Generation (TCG) as an NGO is taking the initiative to conduct awareness campaigns, cleanliness drives, conduct seminars and workshops with the model colonies, institutions, youths and Self Help Groups.
While government may be working out ways to lessen the impact of plastic bags on the environment however as a citizen of Nagaland or citizen of India we should shoulder some of the responsibilities for the problem, which ultimately has an adverse effect to our environment. Plastics are not only non-biodegradable, but are one of the major pollutants to the marine world. So, for a clean and green environment the notion of alternatives to plastic should be adopted whenever and wherever possible and also cutting down the use of plastic to save our planet.