Plastic packaging: a convenience or a peril?

Today when I opened the newspaper, the first headline I encountered was “Packaging makes up about half of the waste plastic problems!”. Say no to plastic is a common phrase which is taught to every school going child today. But, when it comes to the usage, the same child is given lunch in plastic box and water in a plastic bottle. Why is it so hard for us to give up on plastic products and adopt the innumerable replacements easily available out in the market? The answer remains veiled for the last 450 years!

Facts say that 40 percent of the plastic produced is for the packaging purpose, which is used once and then discarded. If we talk about numbers then packaging contributes to 161 million tonnes of plastic. In Spite of countless encompasses, shouting at the pitch of their voice that plastic usage should be banned, 44% of all the plastic ever manufactured has been made since the last 18 years! The plastic industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Is there any hope left for the people to understand to what extent this material is going to cost us?

Few countries have realised the gravity of the situation and has already started taking initiatives to reduce the plastic wastes by keeping a check on the plastic packaging. Many global businesses, including multiple UK’s largest supermarkets, have initiated a voluntary pledge to reduce the single-use plastics in their packaging. This pledge is named “UK’s plastic pact” and includes numerous big names such as Nestle and Coca-Cola. These brands are jointly responsible for major segment of the supermarket plastic packaging. Maharashtra state, India, will turn 100 percent plastic free in an year. Government is taking initiatives to reduce the plastic usage. But every plan is raw without a proper implementation. It needs our contribution as well. I think it is very much possible to turn not only states but the complete country plastic free. Do you feel the same?