With many growing concerns that are arising on a global scale due to the climatic change, the paramount and foremost concern is the management of plastic waste and its breakdown in the natural environment.
According to a UN report, the world uses 500 billion plastic bags annually. India alone generates around 5.6 million tonnes per annum (TPA) of plastic waste. This is about 15,342 tonnes per day (TPD). Half of the plastic used is of single-use or in disposable items such as cutlery, plastic tableware, grocery bags, and straws. Every year, approximately eight million tonnes of plastic end up being dumped in oceans which is equivalent to a full garbage truck unloading every minute.
Single-use plastic cutlery has become the primary reason behind the plastic pollution and the degradation of our environment. But their usage may lead to high health risks and environmental pollution. How? Here is how plasticware is impacting our environment in a harmful way:
1. Polluting water bodies:
While in this fast-paced life, grabbing a bite from a fast food joint in a disposable container might feel life-saving, but the truth to be told; more than half of the plastic used in the packaging is thrown away carelessly into the water bodies such as rivers, seas, and oceans. The water from rivers and lakes is supplied to our households for domestic use or for drinking purposes. Makes you cringe? We thought so!
2. A threat to marine life:
Tens of thousands of whales, seals, birds, and turtles are killed every year (thanks to our irresponsible behavior towards nature and wildlife). The plastic waste which is produced and then gets dumped into the oceans, litter the marine environment. The animals often mistake plastic bags for food such as jellyfish. Once ingested, it can`t be digested or can be passed by an animal, so it stays in the gut and leads to chronic, unrelenting hunger.
3. Plasticware can’t be recycled:
While eco-friendly tableware is compostable and biodegradable, most of the plastic cutleries that are in use are made from polystyrene1- a type of plastic which is also known as Styrofoam and can`t be recycled. Thus the entire waste is sent to a landfill.
4. Adverse health issues of using plastic:
When exposed to high temperatures, plastic releases toxic chemicals such as- dioxin, Phthalates and Biphenyl A, which is similar to having slow poison that can take a serious toll on our health. From the risk of developing kidney stones, reduced sperm count to breast & liver cancers and hormonal imbalances in humans, usage of plastic cutleries instead of biodegradable tableware can have ill-effects.
So how can you keep your planet fit and stay healthy!
The answer is simple. By fixing the problem of plastic waste! How?
Here are some tips:
I. Use Compostable Tableware-
Compostable cutlery or eco-friendly tableware is a great alternative to plastic tableware. Compostable tableware is made from agricultural residues and thus can be disposed of in landfills where they are then integrated with other compostable material such as organic matter. Ecoware is the first largest company manufacturing biodegradable eco-friendly tableware that is 100% backyard compostable.
II. Use Reusable Metal Cutlery-
Where the usage of biodegradable tableware can serve the purpose in a large gathering or during a party, one can simply use metallic cutlery for the household. Metallic cutlery doesn’t need to be disposed of and will last longer.
III. Stop Using Single-Use Plastics-
While some restaurants have started the initiative of not purchasing plastic straws and plates, there is still a long way to go. These restaurants or food joints offer paper plates. Resolute to avoid plastic cutlery and asking for biodegradable tableware or reusable tableware. This will make food joints to think about the situation.
IV. 3Rs: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse –
Rhea Singhal, founder of Ecoware, and Nari Shakti Award winner while supporting the plastic ban in India, recommends to follow the principle of three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Refuse to buy the plastic made items you don’t need or have alternatives of. Reuse the items more than just once and then disposing of them properly where they can be recycled. These 3Rs can really help to cut down on the amount of our everyday plastic waste. In this way, you can contribute towards a making a better and healthier planet.
For those who are as concerned about nature as they are about their own health, usage of plastic in any form, be it bag, cutlery or tableware should be avoided at all cost. With detrimental effects on the environment and our health, switching to Compostable Tableware is the best alternative solution. They are 100% biodegradable and can be purchased from Ecoware Shop.