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Status of plastic in india

In India, plastic production is averaging a growth rate of 10 per cent per year. As per CPCB 2016 estimates, 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day, of which 9,000 tonnes is collected and processed, while the remaining 6,000 tonnes is usually left to litter the drains, streets or is dumped in landfills. 

Every year, at least 8 million (Ten Lakh) tonnes of plastic makes its way to the seas, endangering marine life. Much of this hinders waste management too as segregation is still a big problem. Plastic in landfills also contaminates the surrounding soil, ground and even surface water.

In February this year, veterinarians operating on a bloated and infected six-year old cow brought into the Bihar Veterinary College in Patna removed 80 kilograms of plastic from its stomach. Though this was not the first time that doctors had removed polythene from an animal’s stomach.

Given the growing crisis, this year the theme for World Environment Day was #BeatPlasticPollution with India as host and United Nations Environm­ent leading the way. Erik Solh­eim, chief of United Nations Environment, says, “What is alarming is that single-use plastic is becoming even more prevalent, with production and consumption patterns showing, as expected, a two-fold increase or more in the coming decade. So if we are swimming in it now, will be drowning in it soon.”

Given the growing crisis, this year the theme for World Environment Day was #BeatPlasticPollution with India as host and United Nations Environm­ent leading the way. Erik Solh­eim, chief of United Nations Environment, says, “What is alarming is that single-use plastic is becoming even more prevalent, with production and consumption patterns showing, as expected, a two-fold increase or more in the coming decade. So if we are swimming in it now, will be drowning in it soon.”

While 25 states have banned plastic in some form or the other (mostly single-use plastic with partial or full bans), there are serious problems with implementation as no alternatives have been provided (at a comparable cost) to those vendors using them.

Bihar joined the race to as Bihar State Pollution Control Board has ruled out single use plastic from 25th October 2018 in urban areas.

Bans don’t work without awareness and alternative. Unfortunately, the dangers of plastic are not known to every user of plastic. Where does the bag go once you are done with it?

The Indian plastic industry is among the fastest growing ones. According to a 2017 knowledge paper by FICCI, a business and industry lobby, Indian plastic processing industry saw compounded annual growth rate of 10% between 2010 and 2015. Annual plastic consumption is expected to increase from 12 million tonnes to 20 million tonnes by 2020.

Everyone of us use approximate 11 kilos of plastic every year. Not all plastic is bad, but a huge concern in India is that single-use plastic is on rise. It is almost impossible to recycle, as most of it is soiled. More than 50 per cent of the plastic we use, in the form of carry bags, straws, coffee stirrers, aerated drinks, water bottles and most food packaging, is in this category, notably only plastic carry bag is banned.

Cities like Chennai and Delhi have seen floods because of clogged drains and waterways. Plastic products disposed indiscriminately is point of concern.

In Patna, findings revealed that the total MSW was about 220 MT/Day. The plastic waste was observed as 57.25 Kg/MT, out of which the majority of plastics waste found as carry bags and packaging pouches which is of 65.15%made up of HDPE/LDPE material. The field study reveals that the minimum plastic waste generation 35.98 Kg/MT and maximum of 76.57Kg/MT.

As plastics are not manufactured with artificial intelligence to destroy all species on earth its we the humans who are fiddling with the trigger of new age on earth.

We have not been able to offer people an alternative. We don’t factor in convenience for the man in the slum who has limited awareness and knows no better than relying on a plastic bag. We need to break this cycle. Most of us are unaware about the damage we are causing the environment of our children future, Cancer has become as common as flu.

To support ban on single use plastic carry bags students of (various school) Tarumitra drafted a mission to visit maximum educational institution to share descriptive PPT on dangers of plastic and way to handle it intelligently(#EcoBrick). Convince students of institutions to collaborate and contribute skill to stitch, paint and distribute 1 lakh reusable cloth bags to #BeatPlasticPollution to vendors by summer vacation of 2019.

Our vision is to get Cloth Bag painted by maximum number of students of various educational institution in Patna. To make it inclusive and interactive it is designed as a painting activity Expression of Awareness to #BeatPlasticPollution where every student of educational institution are encouraged for  enrolment  to paint one side of the cloth bag along with their name and institution name. All participants will be award with certificate of participation in Expression of Awareness to #BeatPlasticPollution. Prizes will be awarded for best three painting decided by the committee of judges including Principal of institution, Art teacher, a Tarumitra representative. Expression of Awareness to #BeatPlasticPollution is set to be summarised with a pledge to dispose single use plastic only in EcoBricks and make arrangement in institutions to collect and send/inform  Tarumitra for EcoBrick Hut construction.

Yugratna Srivastava  a Tarumitra Student delegate to UN questioned the world leaders in UN Assembly  If not us then who? If not here then where? and If not now then when?  

 These questions will echo until we defuse our excused expectation for others to do it. When we join together and uses the resources intelligently, efficiently and responsibly, that will be the beginning of civilisation. Till then we are driving in wrong direction.

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