www.manavata.org5 Toxic Plastics --- Fact or Myth?
FACT OR MYTH? When you eat or drink things stored in plastic, is plastic incorporated into you? MYTH Plastic does not seem to affect human health; HOWEVER, it can dangerously effect other animal life and alter the environmental (air, water, and soil) causing hazardous pollution when it is dumped into the environment. 6
Can Plastic Kill? Birds and turtles are killed every year from plastic bag litter in the aquatic environment as they often mistake plastic bags for food. Plastic bags, once ingested, cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the gut. Plastic in an animals gut can prevent food digestion and can lead to a very slow and painful death. 8
Plastics: Friend or Foe? Plastic is ubiquitous in our lives because it is convenient and Relatively inexpensive. It is convenience comes from being lightweight and its ability to absorb impact shock without breaking, which on its own merit, is hard to argue with. Plastics are so versatile in use that their impacts the environment are extremely wide ranging, posing serious challenge for disposal 10
Municipalities routinely receive reports of death of cows and other animals from ingesting plastic bags. When Can It Become a Problem? Careless disposal of plastic bags chokes drains, blocks the porosity of the soil, and causes problems for groundwater recharge.. Due to its non-biodegradable nature, littering of plastics causes irreversible damage to the environment. 12
ALTERNATIVES Plastic bags take between 15 to 1000 years to degrade. The chemical pollutants released from them are a Serious Threat to be Tackled. Designing eco-friendly, biodegradable plastics is the need of the hour. Though partially biodegradable plastics have been developed and used, completely biodegradable plastics based on renewable starch rather than petrochemicals have only recently been developed and are in the early stages of commercialization. Paper, Cloth, Jute, Cane, etc., are the most preferable but still controversial 14
To save your environment and thereby your self --- Say NO to plastic check-out bags whilst shopping and buy reusable bags or bring your own for your shopping instead Use of Glass / Ceramic instead of plastic in Microwave. Replace plastic travel mugs with stainless steel for hot beverages. When you cant avoid plastic, check container bottoms for recycling codes (in triangle with chasing arrows). Choose those easily recycled.
www.manavata.org It's impossible to eliminate most plastic from daily life, but it's prudent for our health and that of our environment to curb the use of some. Overall reduction in plastic usage, proper management for disposal and public awareness would bring a great difference in present situation. Separate, Store. and hand over for proper recycling or disposal. Do not let plastic litter the environment. SAVE EARTH OUR RESPONSIBILITY