As Mark Twain quoted-“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it”.
The Maharashtra plastic ban calls for such support.
In the past thirty years, the use of plastics and other synthetic materials has expanded at a rapid pace. As new uses for these materials have been developed, applied, and made available to more people, the quantity of plastic debris entering the landfills and marine environment has undergone a corresponding increase.
Word of the season being plastic, it is what everybody wants to talk about these days. There may be many blogs/articles about plastic alternatives on the web. My particular blog may seem to talk about the same clichéd alternatives too. But, as an individual what really interests me is the solution that needs to be born for already existing plastic ware. What about the millions of plastic that has already been produced prior to the plastic ban. How can you convert that plastic into something resourceful? Please post your views on this in the comments section.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes a plan to completely end the use of single-use plastic in India by 2022.
As consumers how can we help achieve this target? One thing what we need to keep in mind is, there may be plenty of alternatives available in the market, but how feasible are these options? Can it reach a common man easily or will they just be tagged as fancy inventions posted on social media to garner attention. Takeaway containers, cling wrap and zip-lock bags: plastic food packaging sure seems hard to avoid, but there are other alternatives – some of which you’re likely to already have on-hand. Let us check 10 such alternatives.
Top issue for today? Plastic bowls/cups! Want to order curry or soup at your nearest restaurant/hotel? You might be asked to eat there itself or carry your own bowl/vessel reason being no cheap alternative available for plastic bowls. When I looked for alternatives to plastic or disposable cups/bowls. I came across many innovative inventions directing towards biodegradable cups/bowls, areca leaf bowls, banana leaf cups etc. These could be a great alternative to consumers when there is no alternative for a take away. Especially at coffee shops and hotels. I am sure in spite of being in the market they haven’t yet reached the streets where tea stalls, coffee shops or small hotels operate. More importantly at the price where these street dwellers can afford these options. Till the time they hit these stores and public places at an affordable rate we could all get used to the age old use of glassware/steel/clay cups/ceramics etc.
2] Cloth Bags
The evergreen alternative to the plastic bags. Cloth bags can be made from any fabric as the name suggests. Be it canvas, cotton, linen, jute or muslin. They are more durable and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What’s great is that you can wash them regularly and reuse as many times as you want unlike plastic bags. Come on people, make them a trend already. We live in a society where people follow trend when seen on other people. This is surely one trend which must go viral.
3] Istaraku/Sal leaf plate
Patravali or Pattal or istaraku or Khali is an Indian eating plate made with broad dried leaves. It is mainly made from Sal leaves. It is also made from Banyan tree leaves. It is made in circular shape, by stitching 6 to 8 sal leaves with tiny wooden sticks. Every South Indian family would be aware of this particular plate alternative used in ceremonies, festival and special occasions. What I recall is that this leaf was used in hotels to serve food for many years before the plastic plate came into existence. It is time to bring it back. What I have noticed recently is that there has been a pathetic replica of these beautiful leaves converted into plastic looking leaves. Why use plastic leaves when you can use the original leaf? Also, believe it or not the taste of the food is further enhanced when served on these plates.
4] Banana leaf products
5] Beeswax/cling wraps
6] Bamboo straws
7] Storage containers
8] Wooden spoons
9] Copper bottles/Hydro Flask
10] Natural decorations
Here’s to a more sustainable future ahead of us.
I would love to know about the products you came across which can be used as an alternative to plastics or your general views.
- Laist DW. Overview of the biological effects of lost and discarded plastic debris in the marine environment. Marine pollution bulletin. 1987 Jun 1;18(6):319-26.
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