Contributed by- Dr. Dhrity Vats
Take a good hard look around you and try understanding the deep impact that plastic has on our lives. Almost all the things we use on a daily basis are made from plastic; utensils, furniture, water bottles, toys; everything is available in plastic for our easy use.
Plastic has made life easier, it is durable and inexpensive. It is the best answer to the needs of the fast paced world that we live in. Plastic supports our on the go way of life and makes things more convenient for us. But, as we all know that plastic takes years to decompose and the extensive use of plastic is not only a threat to the planet but also our health.
Use of plastic has major consequences on each one of us. Plastic use is not just interfering with the environment but making us sick. So, it is important to take the responsibility today and do something to deal with problem. Before going any further we must first know what plastic pollution is how is it affecting our health.
What Is Plastic Pollution?
Accumulation of too much of plastic which starts causing negative impact on the environment is termed as plastic pollution. Plastic as we know is not biodegradable which makes it impossible to dispose it properly. The production and use of plastic products has witness an upward incline. Landfills, water bodies are filled with plastic waste and polluting both the land and water. The high level of plastic in environment is affecting the quality of natural resources available to us. Plastic is omnipresent and the harmful effects of plastic makes it really dangerous for health.
The three major plastic additives that are linked with major health disorders are:
- BPA or Bisphenol A- Mostly used in the making of the containers used to store beverages, water and food.
- Phthalates- Originally used in PVC, this additive is now used in clothes, children’s toys and a variety of daily used products
- Flame retardant- This additive is majorly used in electronic equipment.
Effects Of Plastic On Health
We are exposed to plastic all the time and are ignorant of the various health problems it causes. The risk of developing health disorders due to plastic is very high for each of us. The major health problems caused due to plastic are:
- Sexual and reproductive problems
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney Diseases
- Nerve and brain issues
Ways To Decrease Plastic Use
The only way to make ourselves safe from plastic is to start finding alternatives for plastic. A plastic detox is the way to go. Ditching plastic can be really hard, considering the fact how dependent we are on it. But, nothing good comes out until we make an effort to make things better. It is high time to work towards changing our approach towards plastic use.
- Start using metal or glass utensils to store food
- Stop buying packaged water as it makes a huge part of the plastic disposal. Instead try carrying your own bottle of water with you
- Replace plastic bags with jute bags or cardboard boxes to carry grocery and other products
- Using plastic in a microwave is a big NO, use glass utensils
- Avoid using disposable glasses and plates, choose reusable cutlery
- Avoid using synthetic clothes too. They are refined and chemically treated with plastics
- Carry your own shopping bags
- Stop smoking as cigarette butts are made up of tiny plastic fibres which pollute the environment. Quitting smoking helps protect health in a lot of ways
- Avoid using cold drink and soda bottles for storing water. Instead buy copper or glass bottles.
- Ditch straws as they are a major source of plastic pollution
- Use biodegradable black polythene packets for throwing garbage
- Segregate the plastic waste from natural waste at your homes, use seperate bins for both
- Detox your body frequently to remove the strains of BPA. Try having turmeric, rai, amla and fresh coriander in your diet which has anti-oxidant properties as well
Good health begins at home. Small changes in our lifestyle and choices can bring huge difference. So, start doing your bit today. It is time to work towards healing the planet and protecting our health.
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