This is the second one in the series of Global Cooling. We use plastic carry bags to take home provisions, vegetables, fruits, flowers, you-name-it.
Sometimes we store these bags and many-a-time we just throw them away. As many of us are aware, plastic is not the best thing for the environment.
Effects of plastic bags in your garbage:
1. They choke up drains and will not allow water to flow freely. This causes flooding during heavy rains and we have seen the terrible effects in Mumbai and other cities as well.
2. Plastic clings to tree roots and will not allow water to seep into the soil. When there is not enough water, trees don’t survive long. And how that affects the environment is another story altogether.
3. The earth or soil cannot digest plastic. So any layer of muck that is added over plastic gets decayed but does not get mixed up with the soil as the plastic acts as a buffer. The plastic does not get digested by the soil nor does it allow the rest of the garbage to get absorbed. This leads to a mess that stinks and produces mosquitoes and diseases.
4. Animals feed on garbage containing plastic. We have heard of cows being operated for diseases where a huge amount of plastic has been found in their abdomens. The body has not been created to digest plastic, same as the earth. Plastic that is consumed by animals cannot leave their systems as it is not possible to digest. They might get killed due to this.
5. We tend to think that we are using maybe a couple of plastic bags each. So what big deal? But do multiply that by the number of families living in the cities. The mind boggles!
Forget about the strength of the plastic used. Just stop using them. It is a change in your lifestyle, but it is not improbable.
The situation can be turned around over a period by adapting simple methods. Use a cloth bag or a basket, whichever suits your taste and use that every time you go shopping. If you are a working individual, carrying a cloth bag folded in your handbag or briefcase it quite easy. Bags and baskets are available aplenty in the market in different shapes, colours and sizes to suit everyone. A very simple change in your lifestyle, but believe me, you will bring about a huge change to our environment.
There are many shopping outlets such as Cottonworld and Fabindia who have taken to handing out cloth bags or recycled newspaper bags to their customers to carry their purchases in. Kudos to them! Believe you me, they do know what they are doing!