Plastic is something that's everywhere and we almost can't imagine our lives without it. But does it really that much important? Don't we have other alternatives? Let's find out...
In our everyday life, we use plastics and it’s very harmful to our environment. It also creates a bad effect on marine life and it changes their ecosystem as well. If we try to figure out the most harmful
“No one in their daily life within a period of 10 minutes isn’t touching something that made of plastic”, said Professor Andrew Holmes. It’s actually true that your coffee mug, keyboard, pen, eyeglasses or contact lenses, cell phone, TV screen, Teflon or your frying pan banknotes in your wallet, car, mattress; all these things are made of plastic. We take the benefits of plastic and after using plastic we throw that in the garbage and ultimately it goes into the ocean. Around 8 million tons of plastic went into the Ocean in 2010. 192 nations produced a total of 275 million tones plastic waste. The largest amount of this waste was produced by China. Plastic is made to be strong and durable. That’s why it takes a long time to break down.
“Research shows getting entangled in plastic was the biggest issue”, said Dr. Wilcox. Animals get wrapped up in monofilament fishing line nets, plastic bags, balloons, and straps. His research has estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 sea turtles get entangled each year in derelict fishing gear washing ashore in northern Australia alone. The second big issues are the impact of eating plastic, its estimated around 90 percent of seabirds are doing so. We use a large amount of plastic and sometimes some of these plastic got places in seabirds stomach.
In our daily life, we use plastic in many ways and most of the times after using it, we throw the plastic on garbage. Samiya A Selim, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development of ULAB thinks that behavioral changes are the most important thing to reduce this. She proposes the use of bamboo straws instead of plastic straws as it helps to reduce the overall plastic usage.
But what behavioral changes are necessary towards a plastic-free world? Here are 12 of them…
- Stop using plastic straws. If a straw is a must, then you can use alternative things like reusable stainless steel, glass straw or simple bamboo straws.
- Use a reusable produce bag instead of plastic bags because a single plastic bag can take almost 1,000 years to degrade.
- Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
- Buy boxes instead of plastic bottles. Because boxes are more easily recycled than plastic.
- Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, when you order beverages in a restaurant please care of it.
- Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use bags made out of plastic.
- Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated with a thin layer of plastic.
- For recycling, you can do one thing. Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers back so that they can refill it for you.
- You can make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags.
- Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
The “Greening ULAB” initiative by ULAB:
Campus sustainability is an important part of global sustainability. Bangladesh has a large number of universities. And these universities’ activities also effect on the environment. If each university takes some steps for greening their university, it will help to create a positive impact on the environment.
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organized University based curriculum and Academic research. The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at ULAB, launched the ‘Greening ULAB’ initiative in 2006. Greening ULAB aims to make the operation of the university more sustainable and environmentally friendly. This framework is organized into four broad categories. These include,
- Energy consumption.
- Water conservation
- Waste minimization and recycling
- Promoting healthy living.
This research center work as to create awareness about climate change to students and they provide some courses on that like Introduction to Sustainable Development and Introduction to Climate Change Debate.
Writer: Kaniz Fatema
Editor: Mohammad Tajul Islam
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