Have you ever questioned the existence of plastic in your life? Plastic seems to be omnipresent—from take-away food containers and bottles to storage systems in our daily living spaces. Have you thought about the non-degradable waste that this cycle generates? This is an attempt to start a dialogue about this self-induced hazard that has become an integral part of our urban lifestyle.
"As a consumer, I do not think I have much choice to opt for non-plastic packaging and hence, do not go out of my way to opt for such solutions, as there is no definite information about a better medium. But whenever possible, I try not to use plastic, "says Loviena Patrao, Lower Parel resident and pharma professional.
"Plastic is an easier, lighter, and cheaper material. Earlier, injections, medicine bottles, and other medical equipment were made of glass but now we get them in plastic, which is easily disposable. They are designed for use-and-throw and should not be re-used, as it can be carcinogenic," says Dr Kamal Vazirani, Colaba resident and general physician.
"From a design perspective, I think plastic is very ugly. I like glass and ceramic. With the ban on plastic coming into place, I think people use it much less now. Preferences can be changed given the right incentive. I am happy to use recycled paper or plastic as much as possible," says Gaurav Jain, Kemps Corner resident and media professional.
"Anyone who was around in India before the '80s will say, 'NO' to this question. The government has to ban plastic packaging. Leh and Ladakh have already banned mineral water bottles though cold drinks are still available in plastic bottles. For years, I would only buy coke and other drinks in reusable 1.5 litre glass bottles until the company stopped their production. Companies need to be environmentally aware, else the government needs to make them responsible. Shopkeepers are surprised when I return their plastic bags. They fail to understand the the effect that plastic bag will have on the quality of ground water in a couple of decades," says Wilfred Louis, Andheri resident and media professional.
"I have not really questioned importance of plastic in my life. It is just that everyone has become accustomed to the use-and-throw mentality. There are substitutes for plastic but people prefer plastic as it allows them to be lazy. What is the solution? Strict laws; but somehow implementing these laws have been rather difficult for the Indian government," says Varun Verma, IT professional and Goregaon resident.
"It is all about making responsible choices. If we train our kids right from the start, it can make a huge difference on the consumption of plastic and how its use can be minimised. But this cannot be done overnight," says Ashmi Bali Bector, Oshiwara resident and media professional
Relegating plastic from our lives means a major change in lifestyle but let us do it for future generations!