The date 5th June is marked in the calendar as World Environment Day (WED) by the UN as the most momentous day for promoting worldwide advocacy campaigns and supporting collective actions for the conservation of the environment. The WED is now officially celebrated globally in more than 100 countries. The main objective of the WED is to raise awareness through advocacy campaigns on emergent environmental issues ranging from air pollution, marine pollution, and water scarcity to biodiversity losses etc. According to UN estimates, the world is using up to 5 trillion plastic each year. About 13 million tonnes of plastic trash ends up in oceans each year, adversely affecting the marine ecosystem. The major concern of the increase in plastic waste accumulation in the environment is their non-degradable nature.
Due to significant harmful impacts of plastics on the environment, this year UN has decided the theme of WED as “Beat Plastic Pollution” to highlight this pressing environmental issue. This urges governments, industries & individuals to take collective actions to explore sustainable alternatives to plastics & reduce the manufacturing and consumption of single-use-plastics, degrading our planet, the Earth.Thus, following 8 super-effective habits can be applied in your daily lives to combat single-use plastic pollution
1) No More Single-use Plastic Bottles
Each year, near about 20 billion plastic bottles are thrown into the trash. Try to carry a reusable bottle or steel, glass bottles along with yourself when you are going out for from home.
2) Get Reusable Plastic Bags
The shopkeepers, which pack your grocery items in free plastic bags in the markets are thin and have limited utility. These billions of plastic bags are causing high cost on the environment. Buying reusable cloth bags for grocery can solve this biggest threat of plastic pollution.
3) Kick off the Straw Habit
Due to their single use nature, straws are always unnecessary commodity in our lifestyles. Their consumption, can be easily cut out from our lives to reduce their pollution rate.
4) Stop Usage of Single-use Coffee Cups
Buying a reusable coffee mug or a thermos is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint in the environment. Even international brands like Starbucks have also started giving free coffee cups to their customers to bring back again for their next visits or refilling.
5) Boycott Microbeads Cleansers
The little plastic scrubbers found in many beauty products i.e. Cleansers, face scrubs, shower gels, might look might look harmless, but their tiny minute mass allow them to pass through water treatments. These tiny particles affect directly to marine life. Replace them with natural beauty products i.e., natural exfoliants such as oatmeal, salt etc.
6) Buy in Bulk
Make a list of goods that you buy often in your daily lives i.e., single-serving yogurts, tissue rolls, detergents etc. Then always select the bigger container and buy these products in bulk instead of single serving in order to reduce plastic bags consumption.
7) Skip Disposable Razors
Prefer a straight razor for your shaving, instead of plastic razor for replacing blades every. This will further reduce the millions externality cost of plastic pollution on the Earth.
8) Use Matches
The single usage of plastic lighters is finally found in landfills, floating in the ocean or in the stomachs of dead aquatic animals. The best environment-friendly alternative is to use cardboard or wooden matches that are easily.
Executive Editor (Positive Pakistan Magazine)(The Author is Islamabad-based freelancer,blogger and social activist)