Reduce your plastic footprint

In its 10th 12 months of existence, the Plastic Free July problem — based by Australian Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in 2011 — has grown into a world motion. It serves as an annual reminder to chop down on single use plastic, and nudges folks to take small steps in direction of being planet-friendly.

This time, nevertheless, there’s a newer problem: disposable PPEs (private safety gear), which is indispensable for these within the frontline battling COVID-19. Though many amongst us have taken to utilizing reusable fabric masks, the disposable variant and artificial gloves are nonetheless utilized in vital numbers. Says Rebecca, responding through e mail, “Human health is critical at this moment. We encourage people to follow medical advice and not feel bad about the plastics they can’t avoid, but focus on the things they can still do.”

She provides: “Plastic Free July isn’t about being perfect but about making small changes in our daily lives which adds up to make a collective impact.”

Eco-warriors in India, just like the creator of Let’s Talk Trash, Shubhashree Sangameswaran, say that the pandemic has pressured a re-evaluation of decisions. “I used to take my own cans to buy oil from a grocery store but the pandemic made me hesitate since the stores might not be appreciative of it. But on the brighter side, the pandemic has made us slow down. The dependence on food delivery apps has come down and thereby, plastic and other packaging material,” she notes.

Nidarshana Saikia Das, co-founder of The Bartan Company, which rents out metal utensils for occasions in Hyderabad, concurs. “When I take a breather from cooking and place an order with one of many house cooks in our gated neighborhood, I take my very own dabbas and keep away from plastic,” she says, including that she encourages folks in her neighborhood to compost biodegradable waste.

She’s engaged on partnering with the Bengaluru organisation Daily Dump to introduce their ‘Kambha’ terracotta composters in Hyderabad.

Vani Murthy

Vani Murthy, who is commonly labelled Bengaluru’s ‘compost queen’, says slicing down plastic waste takes dedication: “We are all on a journey and the Plastic Free July challenge is an opportunity to scale up our sustainability. For example, switching to biodegradable sanitary napkins can reduce our plastic waste on a monthly basis,” she factors out.

In her webinars, the place she discusses waste administration and demonstrates eco-friendly swaps for plastic merchandise, Vani observes an curiosity amongst attendees in direction of an eco-conscious way of life. “I get many questions about composting. Those who try composting have begun to understand its dual benefits: that the compost enriches your soil to grow good food and you send less wet waste to landfills that produce harmful methane due to anaerobic decomposition,” Vani says.But as the main focus stays on getting by means of the pandemic by sanitising each packaged materials that comes into our houses, Rebecca suggests utilizing washable buying baggage. “We can also buy loose vegetables or fruits and refuse plastic packaging,” she says.

As for PPEs, improvements are underway. A UK-based organisation, A Plastic Planet, has developed a compostable visor for face shields that’s fabricated from wooden pulp. It will take some time earlier than such merchandise are extensively out there. Until then, small measures to chop down on single use plastic helps.

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