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WORLD EARTH DAY: How youth can save the planet from plastic

Vaseline 2 months ago

The theme ‘Planet vs Plastics’ for World Earth Day (April 22) 2024 is of great importance as it calls on the youth to fight plastic pollution to save the planet and demands a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040.

The main cause of plastic pollution is the non-biodegradability of plastics. Plastics are made of long chains of molecules that nature’s recycling systems cannot easily break down. These chains are made up of smaller building blocks, called monomers, that bond together to form plastic. These bonds are very strong, like super glue, making it difficult for bacteria, fungi and other organisms to break them apart. This is why plastic waste is piling up in landfills, floating in the oceans and polluting our environment. Plastics take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down, and even then they simply break into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, creating a major problem for our planet and its ecosystems.

Due to the serious threat that plastic poses to our planet, adequate measures must be taken to prevent plastic pollution. The first step is to reduce the use of single-use plastics, including plastic straws, taking reusable bags to the supermarket and choosing products with less packaging where possible. By making small changes in our daily lives, we can make a big difference for our planet. In July 2022, India banned single-use plastics, but these materials are still sold and used in the country. Much more needs to be done to implement the ban on single-use plastics.

Better recycling infrastructure
Recycling is another important part of the solution. When we recycle plastic bottles, containers and other items, we give them a second chance at life. Instead of ending up in a landfill or polluting our oceans, these materials can be turned into new products, reducing the need for virgin plastic. But recycling alone is not enough. We must also hold companies accountable for the plastic waste they produce. That means pushing for better recycling infrastructure, supporting policies that promote sustainability, and requiring companies to adopt environmentally friendly practices and find sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics.

Education and awareness are the key words. By educating others about the impact of plastic pollution, empowering them to take action and encouraging them to use less plastic, we can build a movement for change. Whether it’s organizing community events such as cleaning up beaches or rivers or collecting local litter, or spreading information through social media, posters or leaflets about the harmful effects of plastic pollution, there are countless ways to get involved to get involved in battle. against plastic pollution.

The author is former Vice Chancellor and Sir Shankar Lal Professor of Chemistry at Delhi University