A World Full Of Plastic
It is estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the ocean – the equivalent of five plastic grocery bags for every foot of coastline in the world – every year.
Plastic outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of thirty six to one. Everything that runs off into the sea, such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides etc. (also known as persistent organic pollutants ) collects on the surface of plastic and is then eaten by animals. The toxic chemicals pass into the animals and when we eat them we in digest the toxic chemicals.
These are all shocking truths, and sadly there is hardly any difference in Auroville. When running through the greenbelt in the morning, I often see litter along the roadside. In most of our shops products are still packed in plastic simply because Aurovillians have their own habits, and needs for specific products like cookies, pasta, beauty products and so on. One can still, even, find products packed in aluminum/plastic mixture foil (like the chips – outside colorful and inside aluminum against the grease), which is non-recyclable and goes into landfills. It is considered to be one of the worst forms of packaging in terms of environmental impact. Of courseeefforts are made in Auroville. On Saturday, the 15th of September 2018, 600 Aurovilians and Volunteers from all age groups took part in the World Clean Up Day, collecting 2000 kgs of trash from all over Auroville. All of this was segregated, which is the most efficient way of recycling possible.
WasteLess, which is probably the most widely know organisation connected to waste in Auroville, has just signed a contract with theTamil Nadu government for a pilot project to bring their educational material “Garbology” and “Know your plastic” to 320 schools across the state.
However, we all need to start with ourselves in order to make a change. There are many things one can do that are very simple, and objects that are very easy to avoid which could help minimize plastic. Don’t be stuck in your habits and make a change!
Think reusable. Not disposable.
Cultivate the habit of bringing your own bags and baskets to the market. A helpful hint:Put the bags in your bike seat or car, someplace you’ll remember, so that you know they’re there.
Refuse plastic straws when you are in a restaurant.
Shift your habit into bringing your own water bottle. If you get take away coffee every day, start bringing your own mug. Don’t get into the habit of drinking or eating out of plastic plates, and using plastic cutlery.
What are the efforts you are making to initiate change? We are curious to hear what you are doing to create an impact.
Pictures/Picture Rights by Auroville Outreach Media.