Irresponsibility Of Humankind - Eastern Mirror
Monday, June 10, 2024
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Editorial

Irresponsibility of Humankind

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 06, 2023 11:20 pm

Rivers and streams that were once the main source of water, both for irrigation and household purposes have become unusable today, especially in urban areas, thanks to irresponsible behaviour of humankind. Today, the world produces about 400 million tonnes of plastic waste every year with its usage exponentially increasing each year despite observing World Environment Day for five decades to create awareness on environmental issues like marine pollution and global warming. According to the UN Environment Programme, the amount of plastic produced from the 1950s to the 1970s was relatively manageable but it tripled between the 1970s and the 1990s, before it spiraled in the early 2000s with a single decade generating more plastic waste than in the previous 40 years. On top of that, there was a shift towards single-use plastic items. This alarming trend has woken up the world to take action to mitigate the imminent destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. What is even more worrying is the fact that the world is not doing enough to reduce plastic products despite knowing its consequences. Non-biodegradable items littered in the forest and open spaces kill animals, while rivers and lakes continue to carry plastics to the ocean in terms of millions of tonnes, endangering marine life. This threat makes the World Environment Day 2023 theme “Beat plastic pollution” quite apt, not only to remind the people about the need to create awareness about its hazards but also to tackle the menace by reducing the amount of plastic waste polluting the environment.

Nagaland also contributes to plastic pollution, both on land and in ocean. Plastic waste strewn in the forests, streams, rivers and roadsides say so. But the state took a commendable step by banning single-use plastic items in 2019, more than a year after the government declared to make the state plastic-free. Subsequently, district administrations, civil society organisations and village councils announced their resolve to fight the menace, including slapping fines on defaulters. However, the return of one-time-use plastic bags in the market, after the prohibition was disrupted by the COVID pandemic, has cast doubt on the state’s willingness to fight the issue. To effectively eliminate single-use plastic items, the concerned authorities should ensure strict implementation of the ban. Action is required on the ground, not just on paper. More importantly, every individual should take the responsibility of preserving the environment seriously by taking measures as simple as limiting the use of non-biodegradable items. There is a huge price to pay for our irresponsible actions and nobody can escape the consequences. Nature pays back human neglect in kind.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 06, 2023 11:20:40 pm
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