Monday, 1 December 2014

Plastic Woes

My son who started kindergarten this year waits for the evenings,  so that we can go out and play football or just walk around. Yesterday we were happily putting on the walking shoes when I felt a tightness on my chest, I started to cough soon after. Didn’t take me long to smell burning plastic. My son is sensitive to these smells too. I took him inside and had to stay cooped up inside the house with the building blocks and cars all evening.

My neighbours do it . My in laws do it too. They burn plastic . When asked , they ask me: "what else can we do".

Recently we saw a government initiative in newspapers , about how they collect plastic covers from you. We went to visit the facility.
The ladies working there said  they have some equipment for recycling plastic. But the plastic needs to be dry. It should not have food residue in them . It should not be mixed with other stuff that cannot go into the machine. But our people , they find it too taxing. No one wants to take the extra effort to clean and dry the plastic milk packets, wash the  take away boxes etc.  Another excuse is that , "If I don’t burn plastic someone else does it. Then why should I take the effort to clean it and take it for recycling".
The effort by the government also did not continue for long. They shut down  the office put up to collect plastic.  Some said the equipment was spoiled by putting in stuff that should not go into the machine.

I do keep a shopping bag in the car . And try to avoid plastic covers. But all the groceries like pulses and rice , they come in sealed plastic bags.  I really have no clue how to dispose them , I keep them stacked hoping that one day Government will resume collecting the plastic.

The small stream near my house is clogged with plastic  bags and bottles. Water is now stagnant and doesn’t flow anymore. Tonnes of mosquitios breed in the waters. We complain, we do nothing else.
I went to my hometown recently, it’s a retired folks town . Till maybe a month ago , a few ladies came around once in two days in a vehicle to collect plastic waste and the other waste which is already separated by residents. My mom lives in a good upscale neighborhood and people followed the rules  religiously.

But then one fine morning , they stopped the garbage collection. The corporation also removed all the huge garbage bins across towns. People have no clue how to dispose waste. Most of us live in bungalows/ independent houses, so food waste is not a problem. So is paper. But plastic ? If there is no way to dispose it, then it should be banned.

Most of my friends and relatives I visited aorund had one complaint , They have no clue how to  dispose the plastic waste.  No one raised their voices , All of these people are well off , from the upper middle class and didn’t want to raise their voices.
The others, from the lowe strata ,  burned plastic not knowing the harm it could cause.

Houses with kids have a huge problem with disposing used diapers. 

When we talk about a clean India , it does not only mean cleaning the streets we live in or walk around . Many a time , I have see the garbage trucks dumping the plastic and other waste on the outskirts of the town. 

To truly attain the objective of a "Clean India" , we need organized and effective ways of disposing all the waste including plastic waste and educating people not to dump and burn such products . 

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that the area I live in follows a very good way to dispose of wastes. We divide the garbage and recycle. Totally works!