We still live in a plastic world
Even though the move to remove plastic from Indian market is quite palpable and awareness among people is quite appreciable, several groups have undertaken large-scale initiatives to make India, a plastic free zone, but what the country really needs is that every individual should make a difference in his own way.
Plastic’, which derives from the Greek word plastikos, meaning to mold or form, has come to be used as a general description for anything particularly adaptable or flexible.
The negative effects of plastic vary depending on the type of plastic in the environment, quantity and length of exposure time. Plastics contain compounds, such as PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and BPA (Biphenyl A) often used in containers that store food and beverages, water bottles – elements deemed a health risk to humans and animals.Items like plastic packaging, bags and bottles are thrown away every day ending up in trash sites as well as in forests, creeks, rivers, seas and oceans around the world. While some of these items are recycled, the growth of plastic consumption and its improper disposal currently outpace efforts to recycle and produce post-consumer plastic materials.
Plastic bags and their associated plastic pieces are often mistaken for food by animals, birds and marine life like fish and sea turtles. The consumed plastic then congests the digestive tracts of these animals, and can lead to health issues such as infections and even death by suffocation. When marine organisms consume plastics in our oceans, these chemicals can make their way through the ocean’s food web into humans who eat fish and other marine organisms.
In fact chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystem.
In reality, most plastic does not ever disappear, it takes millions of years. In addition to not breaking down fast, plastic materials also break down dangerously and also become long-lasting ‘plastic dust’. When items like plastic bags break down, they readily soak up (and release) toxins that then contaminate soil and water, as well as harming animals that ingest plastic fragments.
A better solution would be to reduce the use of plastics altogether. Though it is almost impossible to eliminate plastic off the face of the earth, here are a few basic things we can do to discourage the popular use of plastic.
1. Use reusable mugs
2. Use reusable/ cloth shopping bags
3. Don’t drink water/juice from plastic bottles
4. Shop for organic clothes
5. Say NO to drinking-straws
6. Reduce use of electronics
7. Stay away from packaged foods
8. Know more about plastic
Recycling on a large-scale may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it surely does help to know how to segregate waste and send the various items to credible centres. India’s biggest cleanup effort can bring some solution to the problem.
Keeping all these things in the mind our school children should also contribute to the cause and become aware of the danger of this plastic world. I have taken this initiative through the drawings that children of Kendriya Vidyalaya D.R.D.O, Bengaluru, have contributed on this subject and reflected their ideas displayed in front of the Art room.
These were not only appreciated by all but also successfully carried to everyone’s heart and mind.
Rupsi Chauhan is working in Kendriya Vidyalaya D.R.D.O Bangalore as an Art Education teacher for the past 15 years for the promotion of drawing skills and creativity in children. Her art curriculum consists of topics related to current issues on Environment and Energy to bring awareness in the minds of the young ones. She has served as a judge in various art competitions and is a member of the panel for selection of art teachers in local schools. Twice she was invited as art educator from India to the Art Festival held in Washington D.C, U.S.A.in 2012 and 2015.
She has made a 6.38 minute 2D animation film on Nurture Nature. She is a science graduate and studied Art from Kala Kendra, Dehradun (BFA) . She has served as a resource person for the in-service course for art education teachers held in January 2016 at ZIET, Mysore.
She has written six articles on different aspects of art for NIE, Times of INDIA in the past four years.