Plastic Around Us

Take a second to look around you, especially if you’re in your own house. Now, scan through and see the number of plastic items around you. From bottles and pencil stands to computers and furniture, you may have as many as twenty plastic things in the room.

Now, let’s club them into categories. This will help us see what we can reduce, reuse and recycle.

  • E-waste – computers, laptops and tablets made of plastic? If it’s old, give it to an e-waste recycler near you, and make sure it is disposed of safely, or it could cause trouble.
  • One-time-use – cutlery, thermocol plates, plastic water bottles fall in this category. They must be crushed after use (as it says on the bottle) as the plastic is bad quality and disintegrates (breaks down slowly). You can’t see it, but if you reuse that old bottle, you aren’t doing any good to neither yourself nor to the planer. Send it to a plastic recycler immediately.
  • Good Quality Plastic – Plastics like tupperware are good quality, and are not likely to disintegrate or ruin the contents. But if it’s broken beyond repair, make sure it goes straight into a recycling bin.
  • Biodegradable Plastic – This, by far, is my favourite kind. Biodegradable means that you can stick it in a hole in the ground, cover it up with mud, and some time later, it’ll disappear and become part of the soil! For this kind, try keeping it in your garden soil. But don’t leave it lying there! Cover it up with enough soil for it to blend with the soil. Learn about biodegradable things.
  • So much more! – there are loads of categories for plastic. So here’s a research project to help you learn more about them –

Research Project – on the many categories of plastic. Learn of at least five.

9 Ways to Deal With the Problem

  1. Avoid one-time-use items.
  2. Buy stuff second-hand (It’s not a sign of cheapness as many think, it means you care for Earth).
  3. Get metal or glass bottles for everyday use – (unlike plastic – glass can be recycled as many times as you want – and its quality will remain the same! How cool is that?)
  4. Instead of one-time-use items, use biodegradable ones. (Many airlines serve this sort of cutlery. If you own your own catering business – switch to biodegradable!)
  5. Don’t use plastic bottles for storage multiple times, though you can reuse it for other crafty purposes.
  6. Click on the recycling links in this article to give away your old things to recyclers near you.
  7. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush. There are many alternatives to plastic things, so choose them instead.
  8. Segregate your waste – divide it into ‘kitchen waste’, ‘paper waste’ and ‘plastic waste’ and recycle each separately.
  9. Educate yourself and others around you about the problem.