As India celebrated the 150’Th birth anniversary of

Mahatma Gandhi this year, we have also embarked a fight against the plastic

menace. With our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi committed towards environment

and sustainable lifestyle, a campaign to shun the use of Single-Use Plastics

(SUP) is also launched.

What is Single-Use Plastics (SUP)?

Single-use plastics are used only once before they

are thrown away or recycled which includes-plastics bags, cups, plates, aerated

drink’s bottles, straws, stirrers, take-away food containers, disposable

cutlery, plates, glasses, processed food packages and wrappers. An integral

part of our lives, these products are part of everyone’s lives. The ease of use

and cost-effectiveness results in increased consumption of SUP in India.

Plastic remains a miraculous item that has

revolutionized the life of mankind for more than the century. However cheap it

is, but the amount of damage it causes to the environment and life is


Damage caused by Plastics:

Plastics waste causes myriads of a problem when it

is exposed to the environment. Plastics can block the waterways and accelerate

natural disaster resulting in grave tragedies that take a toll on human


In India, only 60 per cent of plastic gets recycled

and the rest of them is discarded at landfills. These plastics in landfill

start contaminating groundwater as it leaches carcinogenic (cancer-causing)

chemicals in it.

Plastic also enters into the water bodies and is

often ingested by sea animals. This not only cost the lives of animals but also

enters the human food chain. Disposing of the plastic waste a common practice

seen in India often exposes the harmful gases in the environment.

Will this campaign fight the menace?

In 2014, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, honourable PM Modi initiated Swach Bharat Abhiyaan. It was an effort to sensitize people about cleanliness. No doubt, over the period, the awareness has increased but still, we are unable to achieve impressive results. This is due to the lacuna present in the system and lack of personal participation. The presence of plastic in the garbage was also one of the most significant reasons for the lack of proper solid waste management in our country. With this campaign, we have embarked another step to attain our dream of ‘Swacha Bharat’. However, it is not only the responsibility of the administration but for all of us to come together and combat the plastic menace.

Author: Anvita Srivastava