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Essay

Archa B Jayan

Year-Prize: The 11th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Beat Plastic Pollution

Comments 8 Comments    recommendations 2 recommendations

Beat Plastic Pollution and reinstate Nature

 

Archa B Jayan (India)

Honorable Mention


           The greenery of Nature adorning a pale blue sky, the sun shining bright, the chirping of sundry birds and the bliss that it provides is truly ineffable. Nature is and always has been a bountiful provider, an infinite repository for all the living organisms depending on it. In today’s world, we take all things for granted and fall short of our ability to realize the true worthiness of whatever we get by default. Instead, we take great pride in our prowess for creating substitutes. In other words, we’re ready with a cure even before we try our hand at prevention. Plastic too was a product made for our convenience without ever pondering over the dire ramifications of using it. From the time of its introduction, our insatiable appetite for plastics has drastically accelerated its consumption and hence, the pollution created by it.
           A major faction of my native place, Kerala is currently inundated with floodwater. The weak and the strong, the knowledgeable and the ignorant - all were made quite equal by the appalling waters. All the plastic wastes which were thrown away and dumped recklessly by people were duly returned at their doorstep. The clogging of plastic wastes has really added fuel to the fire. The ravaging floods did teach us in a harsh way, the result of our carelessness and also of how we need to pay for the same. Such natural calamities are instances which play the role of timely reminders, reiterating the folly of human actions.
           Pliable, cheap, accessible, flexible, flimsy, malleable, non-biodegradable etc. are some of the many adjectives that can describe plastic. But overall, plastic was so popularized due to the reason for it being so cheap and readily available. A shocking amount of plastic bottles cover the sea floor and the natural environment. According to a new study, humans had produced around 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste by 2015, out of which only 9% was recycled, 12% incinerated and 79% discarded in landfills. If this trend continues, then by 2050, a significant amount of used plastics will end up in some garbage dump and not recycled. Many marine animals get killed every year due to lack of nutrition by plastic debris intake which give them an impression that they have sated their appetite. Many others die due to plastic entanglement as well. Plastic disposed in a landfill takes centuries to degrade and the degradation process in itself gets coupled with numerous other problems like water contamination, soil pollution, threat to living organisms including humans and so on.
           Although recycling of plastics is a much preferred alternative, plastic still remains an eyesore as it finds its final phase in a landfill or a dumping ground. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean, a swirl of plastic garbage double the size of Texas, is an oft-quoted example that shows how big a problem plastic pollution is and also of how rapidly it accelerates. At the same time, we cannot forget the many uses of plastic and the simplicity that it has brought to human life. It has actively participated to raise the standard of our life. It has provided us with a lot of technological advancements in a multitude of areas like healthcare, construction, transportation, electronics and so on. Many great innovators are trying their hand at developing some substitutes for plastic as well, called bioplastics which are made from plant crops and not fossil fuels like the conventional one, in order to make them environment-friendly and biodegradable at the same time. Recognizing their importance, innovators are really coming up with radical ways to make them more efficient in a way so that they can be converted back into fossil fuels.
           Waiting for a virtual solution in the future cannot put an end to our current problems. What we need are visible actions for a discernible change. Creating awareness about the ill effects of plastics from institutions to public sphere, providing them with suitable alternatives, banning single-use plastics, incentivizing collection and reusing them, strict penalization, etc. goes a long way towards reducing plastic pollution.
           The former President of the US, Barack Obama once said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” Yes, this is the accurate time to join hands and march forward to conserve nature and its resources. It is our moral obligation to maintain, preserve and enhance this beauty for the generations to come. To quote John Lewis, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” We are the youth and together, we can do a lot to wipe plastic pollution and reinstate the glorifying beauty of Mother Nature for ourselves and for the future!!! 

8 Comments

Archa B Jayan

  • Archa B Jayan says :
    Thank you Muskan, Manjesh and Aman :)
    Posted 02-11-2018 12:05

Aman Gangwar

  • Aman Gangwar says :
    congratulations archa.
    Posted 31-10-2018 19:40

Manjesh Jha

  • Manjesh Jha says :
    Congratulations Archa.
    Posted 31-10-2018 19:38

Muskan Priya

Archa B Jayan

  • Archa B Jayan says :
    Thank you, Kajal :-)
    Posted 27-10-2018 14:10

Kajal Saini

  • Kajal Saini says :
    Congratulations Archa.
    Posted 26-10-2018 12:51

Archa B Jayan

  • Archa B Jayan says :
    Thank you, Viraaj...Congrats to you, too !!!

    Posted 23-10-2018 23:39

Viraaj Kulshreshtha

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