Plastic - the right approach
While the invention of plastic was nothing short of a ‘Gift from the Gods’ for mankind, that very plastic has now become a source of major concern for all life on earth.
Plastic is mostly non-biodegradable, meaning that it never fully breaks down into nature, instead stays in nature for years in the form of minute microplastics.
But even before it reaches that stage, it travels the world over in the form of discarded single-use plastic which finds its way from our homes to waste disposal sites to the ocean floor and the soil beds.
But before one brands all plastic as bad, one needs to understand it, especially the different kinds of plastics. Plastics need to be dealt with in the proper manner. What is needed is a circular economy focused on the 4 Rs – Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, and Recycle. Moreover, the recycling efforts should also be aimed at upcycling the waste plastic instead of diminishing its value.
To stress the importance of such an informed approach within the youth of the country, Tapas Foundation, in association with Coca Cola India and Brands4Purpose, curated “Plastic – the right approach”, a pan-India initiative with the aim of understanding people’s knowledge and opinions regarding plastic and pushing them to ask the right questions about plastic in order to deal with it better.
Covering educational institutions like Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal and Mithibai College, Mumbai and cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Goa among others, Tapas foundation furthered the conversation on plastics and their effective handling throughout the country.
Coupled with our social media outreach, Tapas foundation reached lakhs of people and urged them to rethink their relationship with plastic, making them into advocates for better handling and use of this incredible material.
While the government has been taking measures to curb the rise of plastic waste, as was evident from the Prime Minister’s speech on 15th August 2019 about banning single-use plastics from October 2, an umbrella ban is not the answer. It is too restrictive and doesn’t take into account the adverse effect on the multitudes of stakeholders involved in the plastic production and handling industry.
What is needed is an informed approach, which makes better decisions backed by data. Only then will we be able to reach the “Sustainable Development Goals” aimed at combating Climate Change and bettering Life Below Water and Life on Land, i.e. SDGs 13, 14 and 15 respectively. Instilling the need for such an approach is what drove this initiative.