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Need of Hour: Plastic Alternatives for Sustainability

Need of Hour: Plastic Alternatives for Sustainability

In modern contemporary society, the advancement in techniques and for exploring more and more opportunities’ we are blindly adding new and new chemicals from a wide range of formulations which pose threat to our future as well as the current generation. Plastics have gained widespread use in almost every aspect of life which can be attributed to their properties which include low cost, lightweight, extreme durability, relatively unbreakable, and aesthetic values. There has been a steady increase in the use of plastic products resulting in a proportionate rise in plastic waste in the environment. In the current scenario biodegradable plastics are considered as safer in comparison to non-biodegradable plastics, and different kinds of other types of other degradable and biodegradable plastics are also in use but they all are not as safe as considered, as the problem due to use of plastic is more challenging. They may pose hazards to the environment in a long run and needs to be addressed urgently.

The global production of plastic is approximately 359 million tonnes and per capita consumption of plastics is 45 kg in today’s scenario. Most of this amount produced is single-use plastic and are discarded immediately. Consumerism has increased the impulsive purchases and directly getting dependent or gladly accepting plastic bags. The share of disposed of plastic waste in landfills is around 40% and poses a major threat to solid waste management as its mostly non-biodegradable and needs to be addressed urgently as we are seating on the heaps of waste. Not only landfills but even water bodies are polluted due to plastics which may enter the water bodies from various sources. We need to use alternatives to plastic but we must bear in mind that alternative plastic should be less or no harm to our environment. Furthermore, it is imperative that the plastic which is proclaimed as an alternative to the non-biodegradable plastic should be of normal usage eco-friendly and sustainable in long run.

Therefore, proper awareness regarding the usage of plastic bags should be done worldwide and proper legislation should be there to curb the usage of plastic bags as it is directly affecting the life of the living organisms as well as the environment as a whole.

We should focus on more advanced technologies which may be employed for providing solutions to the Plastic burden on Environment, Society, and lifestyles. Moreover, opportunities and challenges associated with the use of plastics need to be explored further so that we may get plastic alternatives if not avoidable and use them in a sustainable manner. There is a need for an hour to have an enhanced understanding of the principles and practices underlying the technologies for plastic alternates. And we should also look forward to applying practical concepts for the Re-use and Re-cycling of plastics which helps in managing plastics and provide solutions to combat them.

Dr. Archana Chaudhary
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science
Faculty of Science